For a long time I hated the saying, Good luck.
What does it mean?
I’m not able enough to succeed so I need luck on my side?
My trouble with the term started when I was introduced to Holden Caulfield. He pointed out the stupidity of it all and it made sense. Good luck is as phoney as it gets.
So I adopted the term; All the best.
‘All the best.’
That sounded more genuine and caring - as that’s what I am so it would be nice to put it out there.
But my problem was that I didn’t understand the term, ‘Good luck.’ So now that I do I won’t be so critical and judging of those who say it to me.
My understanding came when I was watching a program on television and a man said what he thought ‘Good Luck’ meant to him. He said ‘its where preparation meets opportunity.’ I thought that’s genius and completely true.
So that got me thinking.
Say we’re three years from now. I’m in the high street looking through a window to the biz and a smart man in a suit approaches me. He asks ‘If I’m here just to look or do I want to enter.’ He points to the door. It has a BBC plaque on it. Or it could be C4. I say ‘Yeah I want to enter. More than anything.’
So he says to me ‘What do you do? What’s your stock and trade?’
I say ‘Writer. I’m a scriptwriter.’
I sense interest under his intimidating appearance. He must be a producer or a top exec.
He asks me ‘What do you write?’
I say ‘Mainly drama. There’s nothing better.’
He then says ‘What are you working on now?’
I get nervous and tell him ‘Nothing at the moment.’ and then bend the truth ‘I’m in between projects.’
He then says ‘Tell me about the last script you wrote.’
I hesitate and then say ‘I haven’t actually completed a script yet.’
Do I need to say anymore?
Nope. You did yourself proud.
The man bids me a good day and goes through the door. I catch a brief glimpse inside but couldn’t make anything out. The door then shuts.
I think most writer starts out by being in the writers bubble and don’t write much or anything. Its the dreamland. The fantasy of doing without the actual doing.
‘I’m a dreamer. I want to write films and television.’
Its how we became to write but now we have to venture out into the world and take it seriously.
So this idea of preparation meets opportunity got to me and made me think that if I’m to benefit from this ‘Good luck’ then I should be prepared for when it happens. I've realised that I should stop dreaming about this career and accept that its a reality and start working towards it.
A good piece of advice from Stephen King, as he points out in 'On Writing' - is:
‘Writing shouldn’t feel like a chore.’
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