Luck of the draw

I’ve been thinking about luck this week. I was offered a new temporary assignment. This isn’t anything new, I’ve been temping since coming to Exeter last September, but what makes this assignment different is that it might lead to that all elusive permanent job, in a company I’m interested in and which might have exciting prospects, as well as allowing me to use my masters degree. After 8 months of answering phones in numerous companies, selling products I have no interest in and being treated like an idiot because I’m a temp (never underestimate a temp!) I feel as if I have paid my dues as it were and having applied for so many jobs, I’m finally seeing the fruit of my labours (as a quick aside I’m wondering how many other clichés I can fit in one sentence). So I was slightly annoyed that when I announced my good news on Facebook, one of my friends responded that I was ‘lucky’. I don’t really consider myself lucky and certainly the fact that I’ve only ever won about £10 on the lottery proves this, but it did get me thinking about luck, especially as I reflected on the last few years of my life.

While we were travelling, my husband and I visited many places most people would consider dangerous, and I knew more that more than once our friends and family were concerned for our safety (we told them we were going to little know places, forgetting they would Google the names and discover we were in Colombia or the Philippines) but in each of these places we’ve been ‘lucky’ enough to meet incredible people who have looked after us, shown us their country and made us feel like family (I have enough stories of the kindness of strangers to fill a movie longer than ‘Gone With The Wind’ Scarlett O’Hara’s got nothing on me!). I suppose it could be described as luck, but I like to think that smiling, attempting to speak whatever language the locals speak and showing an interest in them and their lives has endeared us to the locals.

I also wrote earlier this week about my writing. If you read that article, you’ll know I’ve been writing off and on for years but it’s only in the last 12 months or so that I’ve been taking it seriously, polishing my manuscript, submitting it to agents and going to conferences. By putting myself and my work out there, by blogging frequently on different topics and interacting with people on Twitter as well as writing on a daily basis I’ve seen improvements in my writing style as well as offers to contribute to other blogs such as this one and the Girls’ Guide to Surviving the Apocalypse, write short stories for anthologies and more. Ok, the book deal is eluding me at the moment, but I’m sure there’s an agent and publisher out there who will love my book as much as I do and agree to publish it for me. Also, with my friend I’ve set up a writers group which is pushing me out of my comfort zone and getting me to try different styles on genres of writing. Through the group I’ve met interesting people and there’s so many possibilities for taking the group forward. Is that luck? No, that’s hard work!

The suggestion of ‘luck’ denigrates all the hard work I’ve put in to my search for a job and my writing (and having spoken to published writers I know it annoys them when people dismiss their success as ‘luck’). However, then I got thinking: the term ‘luck’ is subjective. If you consider luck going out, meeting different people and saying ‘yes’ when invited to contribute or undertake something you might not ordinarily, then yes I’m the luckiest girl ever.

So, here’s my wish for you as I finish my last post of the week: I wish you luck in all you endeavour. I wish you the courage, time and energy to go out, meet interesting people, take on new challenges and not be afraid of failing. I wish you happiness and fulfillment in your work. I wish you to enjoy your life and make it the most amazing you can. I wish you prosperity and the love of good friends and family.  Good luck!