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10 Ingredients of Successful Screenwriting: Luck

Part Three of Marilyn Horowitz' series 10 Ingredients of Successful Screenwriting focuses on how luck plays a part in our writing success.

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Luck is one of those elusive things that people believe comes by magic or happenstance. However, I prefer what Dave Thomas, the founder of Wendy’s, said: “The harder I work, the luckier I get.”

It’s a curious phenomenon. You need to make your own luck, and the way you do that is by working very, very hard. Working hard does not mean working stupidly or haphazardly. It means being focused on what you need to do, executing those tasks efficiently, and delivering on each promise to yourself. Working in this way opens the opportunity for beneficial things to happen—what some people call “luck.”

For myself, I also like to look for signs or talismans. It’s been my experience that, when I go to important meetings with writers or producers, I always find money, whether it’s a penny in a taxi or a dollar on the street. This is the kind of small success that gives me a boost of confidence that the meeting is going to go well, and that confidence yields results.

So, work hard, and be open to finding some lucky sign for yourself that will bolster your confidence and give you that aura of being “lucky.”

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