Monday, March 12, 2012

Making Your Own Luck--Anna Staniszewski

When I think about my journey to being published, the word "lucky" comes to mind. That's not to say my path was free of rejection and worry--in fact, it was full of it. But I can pinpoint several instances when I was lucky enough to be at the right place at the right time. Or was I? Let's see what the Luckycorn says.

When I was named the 2006/2007 Writer-in Residence at the Boston Public Library, I couldn't believe I was being given the opportunity to call myself a real writer. When I applied for the fellowship, I didn't think there was a chance I could get it, but I was lucky enough to be chosen. Then again--if I hadn't applied, it never would have happened. By taking a risk and sending in an application, I helped to push luck along.

Another lucky break: One of my manuscripts was named a winner of the 2009 PEN New England Discovery Award. At the reception, I met a new agent named Ammi-Joan Paquette who loved the excerpt I'd read and encouraged me to send her the manuscript. Not long after, I signed with Joan and have been happily represented by her ever since. Again, if I hadn't applied for the contest, I wouldn't have helped luck along, but I was also very lucky to meet my future agent in the process.

There are several other lucky breaks I can think of that helped me in my publishing journey. But the trick is, I had to put myself out there first and take a risk. Without that risk, the luck would have never come. I think the Luckycorn would agree: that's pretty much the definition of making your own luck.


  1. I have heard successful artists say that luck had a lot to do with their success. But this can only be the case if they were ready when luck came a-knocking.
    Maybe that's what you mean by controlling your luck. (The expression 'control your destiny’ is an oxymoron, IMO. Destiny,if you believe in it, is what you can’t control.)

  2. Inspiring post, Anna! You're absolutely right. Being in the right place at the right time, aka being "lucky", means that first you have to take the time to be in that place! You must take risks and make opportunities and put yourself out there. Good for you!

  3. Luckycorn! I agree so much--luck plays a role, but it's balanced out with talent and guts and persistence and courage (and maybe a little obstinacy!) Great post!

  4. LOVE that you link risk-taking with being lucky!

  5. Putting yourself out there is the key. It can be really tough, but nothing bad or good can happen to you if you don't take a chance. :o)