Bob Baffert is one of those trainers who is fun to interview. He always gives a reporter a line to hang a story on.
Perhaps he summed up the 2009 Kentucky Derby best of anyone when he said, “Those cowboys. They came with a good horse.”
Sometimes, like an unknown trainer, we feel like the odds are stacked against us.
Of course they are.
It doesn’t matter if you’re racing horses or writing a book. You put out your best effort against all odds of succeeding. You change course along the way according to how things are progressing or not.
Mine That Bird was pointed to the Lone Star Derby in Texas, but as his earnings grew, he went up in the rankings. He was ranked in the mid-twenties when the cowboys started thinking the Kentucky Derby might be a possibility.
Woolley was born and raised in a small Texas town. He started exercising race horses to get back in condition after a rodeo accident and got hooked on racing. For years he trained Quarter Horses in New Mexico. I’ve spoken him several times, and he always took time out of a busy schedule to give me a good interview.
So, when someone whines about all the restrictive “rules” in publishing, stop and think a bit. The rules are not written in stone in publishing. It’s more of a ten suggestions thing. However, they are there to help you beat the odds.
In writing, you create your entrant in the field of publishing. You shape it up, condition it, test it, go back to the beginning and finally pronounce it ready to compete. The odds of even getting a invitation are against you, so you do everything you can to improve them. The chances of hitting the market with just the right book at just the right time aren’t good, but you bite your lip and hit the send button. You keep entering the race even though you get sick to death of feeling like an also ran.
There are people out there who have all the breaks. They have the education and experience. Maybe they don’t have to work and can just write all day long. Maybe they have all the right connections. Maybe they have an amazing platform.
Sometimes, though, the cowboys come with a good horse, and that’s all that matters.