Michael Chabon’s 3 “Things” for successful writers

I read somewhere that this is attributed to Michael Chabon who then attributed it to someone else who then attributed it to yet another person who then attributed it back to Michael Chabon who just emailed me to tell me that he would like to attributed it to me. So I will have to then attribute it back to Michael Chabon who is an entertaining and awesome writer and one of my favourites.

If you want to succeed in writing (or life) you need three things:

1) Talent.

2) Luck

3) (It’s either or all) Self-Control, Determination, and/or Motivation.

The beauty of these three things is that only one is in your control –  Number 3. Talent is in our genes. Luck comes to us from the outside in terms of connections we make and people we meet thereby opening up opportunities for ourselves. Some may say that “you make your own luck”, but all that means is that you have a lot of 3 (either or all). So really, the only thing in your control is how hard you work. Find something that fills your heart and makes you feel as though you are a part of the world, not apart from it, and 3 the hell out of it. Unless it’s bad for you and/or others, ’cause that’s just a big waste of time.

Write!

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About jtkwriting

Writer living in Toronto. "Sneak out of your window darling, let's live like outlaws honey." View all posts by jtkwriting

2 responses to “Michael Chabon’s 3 “Things” for successful writers

  • hawleywood40

    This is why I make sure I love every writing endeavor I undertake. Maybe that means I’m missing some opportunities. But knowing that luck is at least somewhat out of my control, and while I think I have talent I think there are a ton of us out there who do and who deserve recognition and publication, the reality is that my chances aren’t entirely within my control. So I want to be able to say I greatly enjoyed the effort, whatever comes of it : ).

    • jtkwriting

      I think it’s all about the effort. You can’t completely fail if you never give up right? I also totally agree that there are quite a few of us who write publishable material. Basically, if you think about it, “publishable material” is, among other things, writing that other people feel they can make money from. I don’t always think of it this way, because it takes the fun and pure creative side out of things, but I think it’s somewhat true. Also, I also like to think that one person’s “publishable material” is another person’s “piece of crap” so if one agent, publisher, producer, et cetera, thinks the writing sucks, another will love it. It’s all about finding the right match. Have you seen the movie “One Week”? It was a small Canadian indie that came out a couple years ago. There is a part of the plot that deals with writing and pushing forward against lagging motivation because you never know who just got hired somewhere that could end up reading your words and loving them.

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