Chance. Luck. Destiny. Whatever you want to call it. Whether or not you believe in fate, I don't think most of us can deny that chance plays an enormous role in our lives. Sometimes, the element of chance is downright ridiculous.
For instance, Steve and me. We're together because that's who we are, it's how we wanted it, we made moves, etc etc. But we wouldn't even have met if it hadn't been for a ridiculously long and convoluted string of coincidences and twists of fate. For instance, what if either of us had decided not to go to Lancaster University? What if we had ended up in different colleges/flats? I only met Steve, properly, because he and I ended up, coincidentally, living together in my second year of university. And this only happened because he happened to be friends with Lindsey, who was my friend too.
What if, gasp, Lindsey had gone somewhere else? Picked a different college to live in? Not happened to meet me at someone else's party? Not happened to end up living, coincidentally, in a flat where several of Steve's friends lived (which is how she met him in our first year, leading to us living together in our second)?
It's a mess, isn't it? And it's also slightly unnerving to think of how easily we could have missed one another.
I think the same holds true for writing. Sure, it's about hard work and talent. But the element of luck is so strong in writing. What if you didn't happen to see that bird that sparked off the idea behind your bestseller? What if you didn't bump into that woman with the hooked nose who inspired your award-winning villain? I always feel that almost all ideas and stories are inspired by luck, by circumstances. Even ones that are retold.
And on the publishing front, what if you catch an agent on a really bad day, and a query that he/she would otherwise have loved, simply goes rejected?
It makes me reel ever so slightly, thinking about luck.
So how has the random, pure, ridiculous element of chance irrevocably changed your life or writing?