Success is "not about fairness. It's not about talent."
--Sting, in 20 Feet from Stardom
"I thought if I gave my heart to what I was doing, I would automatically be a star."
--Merry Clayton, in 20 Feet from Stardom
"... financial success in front-list publishing is often very random ..."
is my strong impression that most of the really profitable books for
most publishers still come from the mid-list--'surprise' big hits bought
with small or medium advances ..."
--Daniel Menaker, My Mistake
are we to do with the unpredictability, the role of randomness and
chance, in success in the arts? (Perhaps in any kind of success.) Hard
work and talent can increase our chances of success; laziness can ruin
our chances. But we generally can't wrestle destiny to the ground and
bend it to our will.
The older I get, the more I see how big a
part chance plays in our lives--a much bigger part than I was led to
believe when I was growing up, and was taught the Horatio Alger-esque
narratives of hard workers reaping rewards.
Yet, would I say there's no point in trying?
No. There's every point in trying.