My son, who has developed quite an interest in photography, was recently in the right place at the right time to try out his new camera. He woke up in the middle of the night to see an unusual light outside. When he went to investigate, he discovered that just down the hill from his own home, a building/mobile home was in flames. After alerting the fire department and doing whatever he could to help, he grabbed his camera and took a few photos. Two of his photos have since appeared in a regional newspaper. This is one of the good ones–good in a horrifying way, because the authorities later discovered a body in the ruins.
Photo copyright by Tim Brown
Being in the right place at the right time happens to writers as well. We pick a conference to attend, decide to pitch or workshop our novels, and everything falls into place with an invitation to submit a partial or even a full manuscript.
Once again, part of the “good luck” that comes with a passion for writing is picking the right conference for your genre, carefully researching the agents and editors who will attend so you’re pitching to the right person for your work, and choosing whether to participate in a critiquing workshop if one is available. I was in the right place at the right time at the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Colorado Gold Conference in September 2005. I did my homework to make sure I was in the best workshop for a mystery writer, and I got lucky.
And you know those fortunate writers who find an agent or publisher after only a few queries? That’s because their work is unique and professional, because they did their homework and queried appropriate agents or editors for their genre, and because they meticulously followed submission guidelines. And then they got lucky, because their outstanding work was read by the right person at the right time.
So whatever your passion, make sure you’re as prepared as you can be, follow all the rules, produce the best work possible at this stage of your career, and stay alert to opportunities. That’s how you end up in the right place at the right time, and that’s how you get lucky.