They’re high. Not quite win-the-lottery odds, but high. You think you’re lucky enough to beat them? I do.
You are the product of 100% survivors. Since the dawn of time, every single one of your ancestors survived droughts, plagues, fires, earthquakes, meteors, Ice Ages, floods, wars, genocide, homicide, witch-burnings, Inquisitions, jihads, and in the last thirty years, Roe v. Wade, to bring forth at least one offspring that was fit to reproduce.
100% of your ancestors were winners playing at a brutal global table with odds considerably higher than it takes to win the lottery jackpot, just to be breathing in the first place.
And they had you. The two cells that got together to make you are full of winning genes. Spectacular, luckier-than-shit, magnificent genes that came together at odds of anywhere between 40,000,000 and 100,000,000 to one (any of those other sperm would not have resulted in you, nor any of those other eggs). The baby that resulted from that conception then survived a risky nine months (or thereabouts) just to be born, and however many years following that moment. To arrive here. Now.
The odds of your being YOU, and being alive to read these words at this moment are so astronomical you might as well be counting atoms in the planet to figure them.
And yet here you are. You beat all the odds to get here. You want to write, you want to sell what you write, and you’re getting a certain amount of crap from people telling you that you can’t do it, that the odds are too high, that it’s too hard.
Gimme a break. You’re HERE, dammit. Breathing, kicking, with a dream and a vision and a hunger, having passed through millennia of dangers and suffering and struggle just to get here. If you want to beat puny publishing odds: You. Will. Find. A. Way.
And then ACT.
(Wrote this in 2005. Needed to bring it to the front, because I keep hearing despair, and this is a time for challenge, and endeavor, and effort, and triumph.)