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Hard Work and Getting Lucky

[1]On the eve of my debut YA novel, Lies Beneath [2] (Random House/Delacorte), launching itself into the world, I am, as my mother would say, “completely and utterly discombobulated.” I don’t know what day of the week it is; I forgot to pick up my kids; I stored the milk in the pantry.


It’s like driving in my car, arriving at my destination, then looking around and realizing I have no memory of how I got there. All the scrapped drafts and bitter tears are gone, leaving behind a certain surprise at finding myself where I never dreamed I’d be. It is a humbling place, which begs not only the question of how did I get here, but when will the black-suited man show up at my door to tell me there’s been some mistake?

Don’t get me wrong. There was certainly a lot of hard work and a lot of thankless hours at the computer. But there were also many, many strokes of dumb luck along the way. Any one of these small opportunities could have easily escaped my notice, or shrugged its shoulders and taken a completely different path, leaving me with yet another manuscript collecting dust under my bed. And that’s the message I want to share.

In the words of Neil Gaiman, who recently gave an inspiring commencement address [3] on life as an artist, “Often you will discover that the harder you work…the luckier you will get. But there is luck. And it helps.”

So without further ado, this is:


Where ever you are on your writing journey, it’s time to make your own luck. Take a chance on yourself. If something feels scary, or risky, or maybe even a tiny bit stupid, it might be exactly the right thing for you to do. Embrace the many questions you have and never fear the “No,” because without the risk of asking, there will never be a “Yes.” Then, when the dust settles and you have arrived at your destination, you can sit back, take stock, and celebrate the lucky things: the people you’ve met, the mistakes you’ve made, the epiphanies that have epiphed.

You can take satisfaction in the fact that you didn’t overlook even the tiniest crack in the proverbial door and that–bit by bit–that’s how it opened.

About Anne Brown [4]

Anne Brown (@AnneGBrown [5]) writes adult romance (paranormal and contemporary) under the pen name "A. S. Green," for which she is a USA TODAY Best Selling Author. She began her publishing life with young adult ("YA") fiction, and is the author of the LIES BENEATH trilogy (Random House/Delacorte Press), GIRL LAST SEEN (co-author/ Albert Whitman & Co.), and COLD HARD TRUTH (Albert Whitman, April 2018). She is represented by Jacqueline Flynn of Joelle Delbourgo Associates. Anne was a proud contributor to Writer Unboxed's AUTHOR IN PROGRESS as well as a presenter at the 2016 and 2019 UnConference. She has been a guest blogger for WU since 2010.