Monday, 14 June 2010

Flip a Coin

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?


  1. I accidently rejected your comment on my post! I'm sorry! Thanks for the compliment anyway. : )
    I love this post! It is amazing how everything in life fits together like a complicated puzzle. It's like a really good story where you have no idea how it could end but it all comes together. This is one of my favorite subjects to think about, in fact, because as a Christian I know that there is no such thing as chance and that all this means that God is at work in my life. You might say He is the "author". : )
    Anyway, thanks again for your comment, and I am so sorry I deleted it! Would it be too much trouble for you to comment again? I will be more careful this time, lol.

  2. You need to read Nicola Morgan's Wasted! It's all about the chance of flipping a coin, etc!

  3. I looked her up after reading your review of the book ages ago, Talli, and it sounded amazing! Definitely going to get it soooon!

  4. Your post today reminds me of that movie, Sliding Doors, Sangu! If you think about the weird way life unfurls it gets quite scary.

  5. You are SO right. I was thinking about this idea earlier this weekend and completely agree with you!! Your relationship sounds precious :) This was my first visit to your blog and I love it!!

  6. Yep, I'm properly lucky to be with you. And you're lucky to be able to write in a minty fashion. And I'm lucky to spend my days assessing housing benefit... wait, that doesn't sound right...


  7. Yes, life is built by a lot of chances. But I think the most important thing is that when somethig is supposed to be, it does =) Like you and Steve!