I’d love to come back from an absence with a more positive title, but this one is important. It’s been getting on my nerves for a long time. This week, however, I’ve heard it so often I just had to write about it.
The word “lucky” gets used quite often, and the way it’s used is, more often than not, incorrect at best and insulting at worst.
If you’re walking down the street and you find a $100 bill, you’re lucky.
If you wake up and suddenly find out you’ve won the lotto, you’re lucky.
There are many instances in life in which you truly can be called lucky.
But here’s where it starts to turn irritating.
I’m a member of several Facebook groups for artists. Today, in one of them, someone posted that he’d sold 20 of his paintings to a collector – a sale that earned him a substantial sum of money. Most of the comments were uplifting and congratulatory in nature. But right at the top of the updates was a comment that said “OMG, you’re so lucky.”
As you know, I’m a writer, musician, and artist. Awhile back, I had an unusually good month and earned quite a bit from Constant Content and Kindle sales. Someone I know said to me “Wow, you’re so lucky.”
Another friend of mine is an excellent musician. When he released his album, guess how many people told him how lucky he was? Too many.
Why does this bother me so much?
Because these people aren’t lucky. They don’t go skipping through four-leaf clovers and stumble upon money. They work their ever-loving rears off to make this happen. Artists don’t just throw paint on a canvas, they work tirelessly to perfect their craft, develop their style, and create the best work they know how to create. Hours and hours of work go into a single piece of art.
When writers make money from Kindle, paperback, or article sales, are we lucky? Not really. We worked our buns off, slaved over the keyboard, edited and re-edited, and fell asleep on the keyboard more nights than we fell asleep in bed trying to make that book or those articles as high quality as they could be.
When musicians earn money, they’re not “lucky”. They’ve spent years creating their music, learning their craft, and creating a personal brand.
So please, for the love of all things, stop telling artists, freelancers, and creative folks that they’re “lucky” when they enjoy great success. Stop it!
We are not “lucky”. We put in hard work. And guess what? So can you. I’m more than tired of hearing people tell me I’m “so lucky” I can earn money from home. Anyone can earn money from home. Everyone reading this has the capability to supplement or replace their income by doing what they love.
The catch is, it’s not easy. It takes hard work. It takes long hours. It takes saying no to some things you’d like to say yes to in order to make your dreams a reality. And to go through all that work to have someone tell you how “lucky” you are is often frustrating for artists.
Do I feel fortunate? Yes. Am I grateful to be a creative type? Yes. Do I consider myself blessed, and am I grateful that I live in a time and place where I can make an income doing what I love? Of course.
But I am not lucky. I work for it, like all artists, creative types, freelancers, and entrepreneurs work for it.
Luck has very little to do with it.