It’s often said that sports are the one true meritocracy. It doesn’t matter what race or creed or planet you hail from, how many people you’ve run over or how many dogs you kill, if you can play, you will be paid and you will be cheered.
For artists, the criterion is for more nebulous. It’s impossible to place a value on things with statistics, wins, and losses. The word priceless is in itself an admission that when it comes to the value of art, nobody really knows. And as the eye of the beholder stares through lenses that are at times rose-colored and at times smeared in shit, no artist can be successful on talent alone.
• You Have to Sell Yourself – Take for example, the characters Edwayne and Fironet. The difference in talent is negligible, but there’s a reason Edwayne has wormed his way into the Bards College while Fironet, whose motivations are far more pure, is left standing outside the door.
Ironically, in some ways, you may even have to sell out. In the quest The Loudest Whisper, Flin talks about how the sales from his earlier books gave him the financial freedom and connections to write what he wants. Filmmakers like Steven Soderbergh routinely make big budget blockbusters full of movie stars to provide the funding for movies with porn ones.
Which is why Fironet’s destiny is to end up like so many failed artists before her. She doesn’t buy into what she’s selling, let alone have any idea of how to sell it.
• You Need Luck – They tell you it’s better to be lucky than good, and this is absolutely true if the other guy doesn’t suck. You see, when there’s a gap in talent, luck is irrelevant – but the world is a big place. The difference between you and the next guy is often imperceptible, like the space between atoms. If Ulfric catches laryngitis the day he challenges King Torygg, maybe the events play out differently, although he probably just prays to the Eight for a cure. Sometimes you make your own luck, but most of us aren’t so lucky.
So how do you make your own luck? Step out of your comfort zone – the best way to do that is to challenge yourself by taking calculated risks. Expanding your knowledge and sharpening your skills will always be important, but seeking out opportunities to showcase those skills to a wider audience is just as vital to your success. And if you think you can’t find those opportunities, go ahead and create them for yourself. lottery.net has a news archive chock full of stories about people from all walks of life who went out and did just that.
After all, the Roman philosopher Seneca once said, “Luck is when preparation meets opportunity.”