I guess it’s because not many people think writing is hard work. When a marathon runner wins the race or a doctor saves a life, “luck” never enters the mind. We automatically know how much training/education went into developing those skills. That’s why it’s weird to me that telling stories that other people want to pay money for is not considered a skill.
When you call something lucky, you’re saying that it happened by chance and nothing else. Basically you had no control over the awesome thing that just happened to you. It fell into you lap already awesome. You think J.K. Rowling wants to hear that about her Harry Potter series? You think anyone wants to hear that about something they worked hard on?
So then sticking with the Harry Potter example why was that series such a gigantimous hit? I think what we’re talking about is good timing rather than luck. I know these sound like they’re synonymous, but I see a difference.
Before this series started, I worked at a book store. In the summer, when the kids came in to buy their summer reading books the question was always, “What’s the shortest book you have?” I could’ve suggested a ton of great books for them, but they weren’t interested. Then Harry Potter came along and suddenly they wanted to read books that were triple the size of what they’d been reading. Since interpretation varies from reader to reader, I can’t say why the series affected them like it did. What I can say is that is it satisfied a need in something that was missing in the books they were reading.
I doubt Rowling did this on purpose. She worked for years until she had the best product she could make and then tried to sell it. She didn’t know it would hit like it did. Not even the publisher did. She was in the right place at the right time and had the goods to be successful. If she had been just lucky she would’ve thrown her manuscript out the window and waited for someone to knock at her door with sacks of money.
Opportunities will come along to further your writing career. The good ones, the ones that are going to be the most beneficial will only be available if you’ve done the work to become the best at what you do.