Boosting the odds of getting your short stories, poetry, essays, or book published takes honing your craft, spending time researching markets, and dedication. But, let’s face it, a little luck couldn’t hurt! So, to complement our writing advice, the strategy sprites here at Writer’s Relief are sharing good luck superstitions and traditions from around the world. Whether you’re simply in a writing slump or it’s been too long since you’ve seen a publication acceptance in your inbox, here’s how to make your own writing luck and reach that pot of gold (aka publication!) at the end of the rainbow.
Ways To Make Your Own Writing Luck
Knock On Wood: This is one of the most widely recognized good luck superstitions in the world. The act of knocking one’s knuckles on a piece of wood is thought to date back to the ancient pagan belief that spirits and gods lived in trees. However, the phrase “knock on wood” or “touch wood” originated in nineteenth-century Britain. It has since been used by countless different cultures to bring good luck (or ward off bad luck). Give it a try—an acceptance letter may come knocking!
Have A Lucky Charm: They’re more than just magically delicious! For centuries, people have carried small trinkets or hung ornaments in their homes to improve luck. The most notable good luck charm is the four-leaf clover. Originating in Ireland, the belief is that a four-leaf clover represents faith, hope, love, and success. The four-leaf clover’s luck may be based on how rare they are: There are around 5,000 three-leaf clovers for every four-leaf clover.
Another well-known lucky charm is the horseshoe; its association with good luck has Celtic origins due to its resemblance to their moon god’s crescent. Many people display horseshoe décor at home or wear horseshoe jewelry to boost their luck. Do you know why the horseshoe is typically displayed with the opening at the top? To collect the luck and prevent it from spilling out! While you’re collecting the best markets for your work, you might as well collect some luck as well.
Find A Penny, Pick It Up: As the classic nursery rhyme states, “Find a penny, pick it up, all day long you’ll have good luck!” This superstition has deep roots in ancient civilizations. The belief was that metals like copper and zinc were gifts from the gods, so stray coins were very lucky. Today, the superstition only applies to pennies in the heads-up position. While the origin of this stipulation is unclear, it’s thought that the two sides of the coin represent good and evil, with heads acting as the good side! Writer, next time you see a penny lying on the sidewalk, pick it up—it’s your lucky day! (Maybe you’ll just get some unexpected extra caramel on your Frappuccino, but hey, that’s still lucky!)
Cross Your Fingers: The act of crossing fingers to give yourself good luck or scare away bad luck is a popular gesture, particularly in Western cultures. In pre-Christian times, the gesture was used when making wishes. With the rise of Christianity throughout Western Europe, finger-crossing also shifted as an imitation of the cross for protection. Both interpretations are still used today, so go ahead and cross your fingers before opening an email from a literary agent or journal editor.
Wish Upon A Star: Since the Greek astronomer Ptolemy first gazed into the night sky back in 127 A.D., people have wished upon a star. On a clear night, find the brightest star in the sky (or maybe even a shooting star) and wish for some great writing inspiration. You’ll thank your lucky stars when that persistent case of writer’s block is vanquished!
Use A Dreamcatcher: The Native American dreamcatcher is said to entangle nightmares so you can sleep soundly after staying up late wishing upon stars. A dreamcatcher traps all the annoying, bad dreams (like finding another rejection letter in your inbox!) and bestows good luck by allowing only good dreams for the sleeper. If you have a case of writer’s block, a dreamcatcher might let great inspiration and ideas flow into your dreams and get you back to writing. How lucky is that?
Beware Of Tuesdays: In Spain and Latin-American cultures, Tuesdays are considered very unlucky days. This superstition can be linked back to the fall of the Byzantine Empire in Constantinople in 1453, which happened on a Tuesday. If you’re planning to send out submissions or start a new writing piece, should you wait until Wednesday? Only if you have tickets to that must-see movie or won seats to a sold-out concert. At Writer’s Relief, our clients get acceptances every day of the week, so every day is lucky—even Tuesdays!
Have A Positive Attitude: Many people believe that you’ll attract good luck by having a positive mindset. This relates to the Buddhist principle of karma, in that what you put into the world, you get back out. There is also scientific evidence backing this theory: Positivity and optimism are known to lower stress, which can help make you a calmer, more focused writer. Why not try your luck at a little meditation?
Improve Your Writing Skills: It’s important to hone your craft so you can submit your best work. Lucky for you, we have lots of great writing advice and tips on our blog! To start, check out these articles:
8 Tips To Transform Your Writing From Blah To Ah!
5 Writing Tips To Improve Your Final Draft
15 Creative Writing Exercises To Improve Your Skills
Use A Smart Submission Strategy: This is definitely the best way to make your own luck! You can spend hours and hours researching markets to determine where you should submit your work—and just as important, where you shouldn’t. Or you can hire experts to do that job for you! The research specialists at Writer’s Relief will target the best opportunities to boost your odds of getting an acceptance. And our strategy works. Many of our clients have above-average acceptance rates. Learn more about our services and submit your writing sample to our Review Board today!
There are many ways to make your own writing luck: join a writing group, attend a conference, read articles to get tips and advice from experts, and make targeted submissions on a regular schedule. Of course, a little luck never hurt, so knock on wood and search the lawn for a four-leaf clover—and maybe a helpful leprechaun!
Question: How do you make your own writing luck?