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Cross Your Fingers

March 19, 2012

“Cross your fingers”

That was the last line of the email I just read.

So I have to admit, I’ve probably ended hundreds of e-mails with that very line (or some witty variation, like “fingers crossed!”)

I feel like I should be here telling you there’s more to this whole book selling business than luck, but I’m afraid my e-mail history begs to differ.

The craziest part is that it never stops. I can’t tell you how many times I say (not to mention think) cross your fingers–from submissions to cover art, marketing plans to launch, from sales to sales, and then of course there’s sales. Reviews! Publicity! Blurbs!! Did I mention sales?!?

I’m not making you paranoid, am I??*

MWA HA HA HA ha ha ha ha!!

Seriously though, do you believe in luck? Or do you think you make your own luck?

Despite my finger-crossing ways, I’m a firm believer in making your own luck.

And in recognizing opportunity when it comes knocking.

I see how hard everyone in the book-making process works–my authors, their editors, all of the teams who largely go unappreciated (except for the acknowledgments section of the books).

(Um, and me!! I work really hard too!!)

But at a certain point, I like to think of it as a kind of zen moment, you’ve done everything that you can, and you just step back and say ok. Whatever is going to happen will happen.

And at that point, there’s nothing more you can do.

Except CROSS YOUR FINGERS. Hello?!?!?! Didn’t you read the title of this post???

Are you superstitious? What rituals do you do? Let me know in the comments.

In the meantime, I’m going to go practice opening the door with my fingers crossed. You know, in case opportunity comes knocking or something.

*I feel like fully half of my clients might think this post is about them, but it’s not. I wanted to make everyone paranoid. Ok, really it was just time to do another post.

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16 Comments
  1. I think you make your own luck too.
    And I agree! It was time for another post! Lol

  2. Lucky underwear. Works every time.

  3. I think luck does play a part in yourr life’s achievements.However, not luck alone; luck is only going to get you so far. If you don’t do the things you need to do to get where you want to go, I don’t think you’ll achieve your goals..

    However, I cross my fingers a lot. πŸ™‚

  4. I completely agree. You do what you can do and then cross your fingers…and your eyes and your legs and whatever else you can cross. I heard a good quote once… Work as if everything depended on you and pray as if everything depended on God. That pretty much says it all.

  5. Yes, I believe in luck! Mostly, I believe in if you PAY IT FORWARD you will get yours. Saturday, I attended a fellow author’s booksigning. Even bought her new book. She lives far away, but came to my town so why not? Sunday night I learned MY book won 1st place in a contest for self-published books. How cool is that? Luck or hard work? who knows, but I am ever hopeful.

    p.s. I was born on Frieday the 13th so I do NOT cross my fingers.

  6. There’s luck as in lightning struck luck. And then there’s luck that comes from hard work. Hard work and talent makes its own luck. Of course, I’ve also heard that luck may be a lady tonight.

  7. Come to my house. You can say whatever words you want.

  8. I think luck has a lot to do with a lot of things. Being in the right place at the right time… stuck in traffic and missing an ill-fated flight. Just as there is bad luck. I know people who seem to have a black cloud that hangs over them and have the most horrible things happen that is beyond their control. I do believe you have control of your own destiny. If you don’t try you can never succeed.

  9. zenaparks permalink

    Luck is a tricky thing…I think you have to make it, but–like you said–I think you also have to have your eyes open to opportunities so when you snatch them up you find yourself “lucky”.

  10. I think the harder you work, the “luckier” you tend to get. πŸ˜‰ But, yeah, I’m superstitious. Especially, for some reason, about which earrings I wear. No sense to it, but it makes me feel better.

  11. woulkjd lovce to commeknt buyt i hvew my finkgers crtossedf

  12. I make my own luck, but that hasn’t stopped me from crossing my fingers! And since I dance and figure skate (hobbies!), I *cringe* every time someone tells me “good luck” before going on stage or on the ice. πŸ™‚

  13. Okay, lets try this again with your new and improved settings and we’ll see if it works. πŸ™‚ Although my brilliant comment from yesterday is not going to be quite as brilliant.

    Luck is when preparation meets opportunity. I say this all the time but have no idea who said it originally. But I think it’s totally true. We work hard and when the opportunities come, we’ll be ready. And why do you have to write blog posts about me? πŸ™‚ Also, does this mean I have to do another blog post? I thought we were both doing the whole ‘not posting’ thing.

  14. At the risk of looking like a spammer, I thought I would share a couple of interesting articles on the psychology of luck (and how we think about it):

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/08/opinion/sunday/in-defense-of-superstition.html
    http://shine.yahoo.com/lifes-little-pleasures/how-to-get-lucky-2389062.html

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