Thursday, March 22, 2012

There's this movie coming out...

You may have heard of it. And I'm going to see it tonight!

I am so excited, I can't wait. I was thinking about one of the most famous lines from the series, "May the odds be ever in your favor." Katniss faced some pretty insane odds of losing (aka dying) in the story. But since there are 3 books and more movies being made, I think it's pretty safe for me to announce that she does survive book 1. (If any of you are shocked by this, I apologize.) She beats the odds. Why? Was it her skill? Her determination? Luck? Who she knew--those who cared about her, loved her, wanted something from her--everyone who helped her, each for their own reasons?

How much is real life like this? How much of accomplishing your goals is beating the odds? I know in publishing it is a big part of the puzzle. If you look at the numbers, the percentages of authors who actually succeed in getting an agent, and then even beyond that a book deal, and beyond that becoming a bestseller... well, let's just say they are slim. Like really slim. Single digits slim. Just for the first level, agents get hundreds if not thousands of queries EVERY month. And they pick up, what, maybe one or two new clients a year (if that)? Let's just say the odds, they are so not in your favor.

So, if you've done the best you can do--polished, learned your craft, edited, revised, polished some more--until your book shines, what makes the difference in beating those (admittedly) depressing odds? (Because obviously the first step is you must have the skill, whether you are naturally talented [which is great, but will still only get you so far before you have to learn how to be even better], or whether you work your butt off to turn your creativity into quality, you must have that in place before anything else can come together to get you published.) But AFTER that, what helps you beat the odds? Luck? Who you know? Determination, never giving up? What?

I think it's a combination of all of it. There are only a few things you have control over--your work and your determination to not give up, right? So all we can do is keep working, keep persevering, honing our craft and putting ourselves out there. And sooner or later, the luck and timing will be right and you will be positioned to finally have those pieces fall into place.


Well, anyway, May the Odds be Ever in YOUR Favor... And enjoy the show!


Anonymous said...

Have a great time! We're going on Saturday (so far away!) but I'm totally stoked!

Excellent post, Sara. The odds may be stacked against us, but you know what? To hell with the odds! Onward to heights impossible!

Mary E Campbell said...

So jealous. Wish I could of used those tickets. Hope you have a fab time. I love katniss' grit and will to live. She isn't always the nicest person, but it's like Peeta says - there's something about her that gets to you. I haven't seen you in awhile hope you're doing well. So sorry about your brother-in-law - that had to be so rough.

Carolyn V said...

I see it today. Can't wait!

The odds are slim, but I do believe that it can happen with work and persistence.