How Do You Keep Going Until You Find Your Luck?

“Some writers hate the idea that luck plays a big part in success, but it does. But I’ve found that the harder you work, the luckier you get.”
–Joe Konrath


My path to publication began with a New Year’s Resolution. It went something like this: I think I’ll write a book this year (to the tune of: la la la, won’t that be fun?? ;)) At the time I had no idea how much work it was going to be. I just knew I’d always wanted to write a book & I finally had an idea for a story tickling at the back of my brain.

It was a challenging year, but I wrote the book. I finished! In fact, since I was very much learning to write on the fly, I rewrote it several times. It won some awards…but never sold. Flash forward a dozen years and I’ve written ten books (depending on how you count all those rewrites and partial books ;)).

In that time, I’ve published one haiku, one YA short story, and a novella. 🙂 On the surface that could be very discouraging. All those books. All that effort. Was it time wasted?

No. I learned a lot.

  •  Learning is never a waste of time.

So I want to talk a little about how do you keep going until you find your luck?

I can’t tell you how many roadblocks and detours I’ve come across on my writing journey. I can tell you there have been a lot. I’ve reinvented myself several times and changed genres. (Or perhaps not so much reinventing as evolving as my interests changed.) All the while, I’ve tried to keep learning and am always trying to stretch myself. I think that’s what Mr. Konrath was referring to in his quote on luck: You can’t control luck, but you can increase your odds of success by working hard.

  • You certainly can’t succeed if you give up.

Here are a few other things that have helped me keep going, even through times of discouragement:

  • Take yourself seriously.
  • Don’t take yourself too seriously.

What do I mean by that? I don’t think of writing as a hobby. This is my job. I work hard at it. I finish my projects. I take myself seriously.

But I also try not to take myself too seriously. Every disappointment can feel like the end of the world, and I have to remind myself that it’s not. The most important things in life are the people in our lives: our family and friends. The kind of people we are. A rejection from an agent or editor (or a bad review!) is just a blip.

  • So that person didn’t connect with my story-I don’t like everything I read either.
  • I have readers out there somewhere, and, with time, I’ll connect with them. 

So I brush myself off and keep going. 🙂

  • Be willing to reinvent yourself.

My goal all along was to publish novels with a traditional publisher. And not just any traditional publisher. I was kind of snobby(?) and wanted to publish with a Big Publisher. Part of not taking myself too seriously was being willing to try a small press. That’s how I got my first novella published. And, you know what? It was a great experience. I learned a lot. I’ve tried the traditional route for my novels and have had many “close calls,” but in the end those deal didn’t come together. I could have continued on with querying and waiting. I could have given up. 

(I did consider it–there were some tough moments–but, honestly, how could I give up something I love so much??)


April 2013

Instead, I decided to consider my options. I wanted my books published, I wanted to connect with readers, and I wasn’t getting any younger. LOL So when the rights to my novella came back to me, I took a chance and self-published it . And I LOVED IT! So, yet again, I’ve reinvented myself. Next month, as an indie author, I’m releasing my first novel, AIRE. (See my new cover?! Squee!! Thank you, Lisa A!)

I couldn’t be happier about  taking this new path. Will luck find me? Oh, who knows! 😉 I do know I’ve worked hard and will continue to work hard. I’ll take myself seriously (but not too seriously), and I’ll enjoy the journey. 

Do you have a mantra or quote that helps you get through the tough times? Please share in the comments!


Updating to add: Enter to win a free paperback copy at Goodreads!

This entry was posted in Lena Goldfinch, perseverence, Young Adult Fantasy by Lena Goldfinch. Bookmark the permalink.

About Lena Goldfinch

LENA GOLDFINCH writes heartwarming romance and romantic fantasy for adults and teens. She's a sucker for a good old-fashioned romance, whether it's a novel, novella, or short story, young adult or adult, fantasy or realistic, contemporary or historical. Elements of romance, fantasy, and mystery have a way of creeping into her writing, whether she's writing historicals or something light and contemporary. Her works include: HISTORICAL ROMANCE THE BRIDES SERIES: * The Unexpected Bride * Sleigh Bells & Mistletoe (A Short Story) * The Bartered Bride * Only the Heart Knows FANTASY ROMANCE FOR ADULTS / YOUNG ADULTS / TEENS * Aire * Songstone * The Language of Souls CONTEMPORARY YOUNG ADULT THE HAUNTING JOY SERIES: * Haunting Joy: Books 1 & 2 * Chain Reaction: A Short Story (Prequel to Book 2) CONTEMPORARY YOUNG ADULT ROMANCE * Take a Picture: A Novella Visit her online at http://www.Lena

33 thoughts on “How Do You Keep Going Until You Find Your Luck?

  1. Lena–this is a fabulous post. I love it! Is it possible we met at NESCBWI conf last year? Are you going this year?

    This whole post was wonderful–but I love the ideas that learning is never a waste of time. I believe fully in the idea that I can’t fight the universe and its plan. And that hard work brings in the best luck. Thanks for sharing your journey–and I have to say that you did a beautiful job on that cover.

    Writing toward publication has been a ten plus year journey for me, and I am finally starting to query agents. Who knew it would be such a long road, to even get started!

    Thanks for the Monday morning inspiration!

    • Hi, Heather! I didn’t make it to NESCBWI last year, but I have been before…Maybe we met at Whispering Pines or do you go to Kris Asselin’s meet-ups??

      Thanks so much for your comments and sending you best wishes on your writing journey. I can relate to the ten-plus years! 🙂

      To give credit where credit is due, and gladly: Lisa Amowitz designed the cover and we finessed the final design together, which was such a fun learning process. She’s my awesome design mentor and a talented writer as well. (Oh my gosh, you guys have to read BREAKING GLASS when it comes out! I was lucky enough to read a beta version and it’s fantastic. So gritty, raw, emotional, & real–engrossing–and creepy. :))

  2. Great post Lena! If there’s anything we need the most as writers it’s perseverance. 🙂 And a go with the flow mentality. It’s exciting to see where our writing can lead us. Can’t wait to read Aire!!

  3. Lena!! Love this post – thank you for sharing a bit about your journey! 🙂

    You know you’ve got one of your readers right here! 😉 I love your stuff, and I’m so excited for all of your upcoming projects!! It has been such a pleasure discovering your stories, and – most importantly – finding your friendship. 🙂 ((Hugs))


    • Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwww (sniff sniff) Thanks, Amber! It’s really such a joy to connect with readers who “get” your work. And even cooler when you find out they’re amazing book bloggers/ beta readers/ freelance editors who want to read everything you write! 😉

      ((hugs back))

      • Ahhh–my little author family, how do I love thee. I tend to adopt and fuss over those whose covers I am lucky enough to design. And Lena–in your case we worked as a crazy tag team. Like crowdsourcing design! It was awesome.

      • Lisa, (Sensei Lisa), that crazy-tag-team designing phase was a total blast! I enjoyed working with you in tandem like that so much. (Once we got our dropbox folder going! ;)) And I learned a lot. Thanks so much!
        Lena (Grasshopper)

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