Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Make Your Own Luck

Writer Abroad admits that sometimes she feels like kind of a bitch. She is living the writing life, she is doing it in Europe, and she hasn't even had to starve yet (thanks, Husband IT Manager).

Is she just lucky?

Reporter Michelle V. Rafter would probably say no. On Michelle's blog, WordCount, she has a post today titled, "The luck of the Irish wasn't just luck." In fact, she says, it was more like famine.

Because the thing is, you can look at anyone and say they're lucky. That life's unfair. That you're not as fortunate. But what people that say these things don't usually realize is that the people they consider "lucky" have made their own luck through courage, reinvention, forward-thinking, hard work, and refusal to give up.

If your dream has always been to be a writer living abroad and you're not quite there yet, figure out the steps you need to take so that you're one of the "lucky ones." Before Writer Abroad ever moved abroad, she remembers reading Eric Maisel's A Writer's Paris and thinking she would never be brave enough to give up her real job to write in Europe. But she was. Sort of. After she got another real job and got laid off.

It just took a little luck.

Happy St. Patrick's Day.


  1. I enjoyed reading this post -- as it reminded me of the courage every writer needs to continue to put themselves out there and move forward with their dreams. Writing is a lonely, often difficult profession, where the rewards are not always around the first, second or even third bend. Knowing that, with a little persistence, anything is possible.

  2. I agree with making your own luck. More than once, opportunities have come up because I've been "in the right place at the right time." At first it seems lucky or coincidental, but when I think about it, I've been in that place at that time because I've taken a risk or explored a new possibility. Or maybe it's my 1/24 of Irish heritage.

  3. Glad to hear others relate as well. Here's to us courageous risk-takers! I'm mean, us lucky people.

  4. Amen!! This is great. I'm definitely trying to create my own "luck" as well...we're all deserving of all of the good that life has to offer, it's not luck at all! :-) Anyway...thanks for your blogs about being a writer in Europe - they give good advice and courage. Maybe I really can make this happen! Much appreciated!!

  5. I'm falling into the arms of your blog with a sigh of relief. I'm an expat writer in Paris. Every so often I reflect on the irony/luck that if I hadn't been so thoroughly unhappy at my job as a lawyer, I never would have quit and become a writer. Writing is a tough profession, but at least I love what I do!

  6. love this post! you're so right. it's up to *us* to make our lives what we want them to be.

  7. I'm on the fence on the subject of luck. I agree that there are many things that we can do to create opportunities for ourselves. But much of that depends on having the - what, luck? fortune? fate? let's call it chance - chance to be born in a developed country free from war and famine.

    Having lived and worked in Afghanistan, the Gaza Strip, East Timor and similar places I've come to see that there is a mix of personal agency and environmental conditions influencing every life story.

    As much as I'm happy to acknowledge the hard work and tough choices I've put into the opportunities I've had, I'm also the first to acknowledge my incredible privilege relative to the majority of the world's people (especially the women!)

  8. Hi Marianne,

    What you're saying is very true, we are fortunate to have been born into circumstances that give us the chance to be lucky.

  9. Hi Chantal,

    I just found your blog and I love it! I'm an American writer living in Paris. Sounds cliche, right? As you can imagine, I hear the "you're so lucky" line a lot.

    Which I am. Except that I also decided to move here when I 1) didn't know the language 2) didn't have a job and 3) didn't have a visa.

    And yet I DID it. So I'm lucky, but I also took a chance AND took responsibility for my life.

    Great post. I'll be back often!

  10. Hi Paris Imperfect,

    Thanks for your visit. I can imagine the Writer in Paris line would get the "lucky" line a lot. Good for you for taking the risk to get it!

  11. You make your own luck for sure! I remember reading an interview with Nick Faulkner years ago who agreed he was a lucky player but said that the more he practiced the luckier he got! Happy St Patrick's Day to you:)

  12. Thank you so much for this post! People are always saying that I'm so lucky because I live in Hawaii. But the thing is, I made the choice to move. I made sacrifices and gave up a lot of things in order to be here. It wasn't just handed to me - I made the choice to jump with both feet.

    My mom always says it's not luck, it's pluck.

  13. This article is useful for some people. Someone think luck is giving a god. But it is wrong. We can make our own luck. It depends with our activities.



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