Charlton Heston use to say, “there are a million good actors. You have to be a lucky, good actor.” Having been involved in the book business since the 1980s, for writers, I paraphrase that line and say, “there are a million good writers, you have to be a lucky, good writer.”
I have had writing friends. some quite good, disagree and reply, “I think good stories rise to the top.” This is very naive. So, as to not argue, my only reply to them is, “then I will await your resounding and quick success.” That success never came. I am still waiting. Without that lucky break, it ain’t.
While you make your own luck by perseverance…sure…it still takes a Gladwelllian “tipping point” to break into writing success. I guess you can define writing-success many ways, but most define it as “selling really well” and, or “reaching and satisfying a LOT of readers.” It’s no fun unless someone else reads it!
In the end, to set this springboard stage, you do write for yourself. It’s a compulsion, Like a musician practices. If you don’t have that drive? Or that music? It never happens in anything, in any way.
My biggest kicks are still getting/capturing a great turn of a phrase – poetry really. And getting a good review. A happy reader. I guess that covers both ends of the writer’s spectrum, huh? Inside and outside.