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Luck or passion?

follow your passion sign


Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. ~ Seneca

When we follow our passion, we're much more likely to meet the luck that makes something really cool happen. ~ Gwen Hernandez, on the Behind the Prose podcast

In 2010, as a newbie writer looking for blog content, I started writing about my favorite software: Scrivener. (Did anyone doubt? 😉 )

It began with how-to posts mainly for my writer friends, who were the only people following me back then. Initially, I had no expectations other than picking up a few new blog followers and plumping up my website’s content.

But a lot more people than I expected were interested in what I had to say. (Awesome David at L&L promoting my posts helped immensely!)

In 2011, I started teaching online courses. By 2012 I had signed a contract to write Scrivener For Dummies. Soon thereafter, I was taking on private training clients and giving in-person workshops for writing groups and conferences. Not bad for a side interest spurred by my other passion: writing romantic suspense.

Getting the book deal was lucky—a crazy confluence of events that you can read about here—but I wouldn’t even have appeared on my publisher’s radar if I hadn’t continued to learn about Scrivener and grow my platform through new posts and online classes.

I would not have been positioned for that luck to strike.

The point of this post is not to point out my good fortune at finding work I love—though I’m pretty damn happy about it—but rather to illustrate an idea.

When you follow your passion, cool things happen.

That’s a recurring theme I’ve noticed in interviews with people who have changed their lives by listening to the little voice inside their head begging them to spread the joy of fitness, take up knitting, become a farmer, or whatever.

Most of them did not set out to start a business or change career paths. They sort of fell into it. Their enthusiasm for the work of their heart put them in the right place, with the right skill set or knowledge, to take advantage when an opportunity appeared.

All they had to do was step through the open door.

Do you spend time on at least one thing that you’re passionate about? If not, why not? What’s one step you could take today to start yourself on that journey?

Really, there’s no downside to doing what you love. Even if you never move beyond part-timer, hobbyist, or fanatic, you’ll be a happier person for following your heart. And what’s cooler than that?

Tell your friends!


  1. S. J. Pajonas (spajonas)


    Great post and very true. You followed your passion and ended up on the radar! Which is why I keep telling new authors to just stick with the things they love. Visibility is everything, even if it’s not visibility about your fiction. I try to be online and talk about my favorite stuff all the time. Knitting, astrology, food, writing, Scrivener too: all these things are interesting in some degree to some people. Following my passion is fun!

    • Reply

      Hey, S.J.! I’m glad you’re spreading the word too. Good point about visibility. We’d be boring if we just talked about our books all day. 😉

  2. Reply

    Once a person frees themselves from the nagging little voice that forever whispers, ” your passion must be cashable.,” it flows so much better. ( p.s. In our culture, few there be that find that freedom.)

  3. Reply

    What I personally like is assembling gadgets. That is the little voice inside me. I like trying to make or fixi things. I have a small lab room and it has all sorts of projects in it, most of them half-done as either a new idea distracted me, or family or friends needed something done. So I’m a litter of electronics parts and not too many actual gadgets. Still there are successes. The put-things-together voice in me runs strong. When I was a kid I was strongly discouraged from doing things like disassembling lawn mowers or doing simple carpentry. So today I’m doing the forbidden in a very big way. I also want to bicycle a lot. I’m having good success bicycling to work. I don’t want to drive my car and pump hydrocarbons in the air. I want this world to be fit for my grandchildren and the exercise bonus should let me live long enough to watch them grow up. It is time for me to do a 100 mile ride. (Since you are in Massachusetts, there used to be a 200 mile “double century” ride from Old Sturbridge Village to Provincetown. I’m not sure if it is still being done.) I read an article about a singer named Ben Weaver who bicycled 1,500 miles from Minnesota to Louisiana. He literally bicycled from one gig to another. Apparently a writer from Bicycling Magazine bicycled with him. After a month on the road he wanted to bicycle home instead of fly home. Ben answered his passion.

    • Reply

      Hi, Bob! I’m glad you’re finally getting to indulge your love for projects. That’s priceless. Love that you are biking to work. Thank you!

  4. Reply

    So true Gwen. It’s like that gal who started out doing shakey video interviews and ended up with a TV show. Oh wait a sec, that was me!


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