by Lillian Csernica on July 26, 2013
Luck plays a big role in the life of a writer. Will today be the day?
Will we get the Idea of a Lifetime that will one day make us rich and famous?
Will we manage to talk a friend or family member into minding the kids so we can have an hour or two to do nothing but WRITE?
Will we reach the finish line and know that the project we’ve been laboring over is in fact DONE?
Will we get that e-mail that says, “Yes! We want your story! And we’ll pay you a pile of money for it!”?
And so we writers tend to bear in mind the whims of Lady Luck. We all know what it’s like when she has PMS, and we go in fear of it.
Now me, I tend to go in for more talismans than rituals. (Although I have to say I love that scene in “Shakespeare in Love” where Jacob Fiennes rushes to his desk, grabs his quill, twirls it between his hands, spins around three times, then sits down to write.) I keep one of those desk-bucket items close to hand, filled with all of my special/favorite writing instruments. I keep on my desk or on nearby bookshelves items that have come to me from people connected to my writing through links often known only to me:
The Nessy with a necktie that comes in three sections so it looks like it’s rising from whatever surface you put it on.
The black and green handmade duct tape rose I begged from Sarah Goodman in the SFWA Suite at the Nebula Awards.
A Post-It Note directly above my monitor that says, “Why aren’t you writing?”
These are just a few of the tokens, mementos, good luck charms, and cultural artifacts that surround me in an atmosphere of friendship, in-jokes, and creativity. There is one ritual I do carry out, and that occurs whenever I check my e-mail and see a reply from an editor or magazine. At this point it’s become automatic. I cross the fore- and middle fingers of both hands and start chanting, “Please, God, please, God! Let it be a sale!” Lady Luck has her place in the universe, but I prefer to go straight to the source of all blessings.
What do you do to coax success out of the swirling mass of random factors that is the creative life? I’d love to know!