Finally, the phrase suggests having luck and being good are mutually exclusive, and that you don’t necessarily need both. I believe there are many great (not just good) writers who fail to have their work recognized. This failure can be for a number of reasons, poor marketing being among the leading explanations. Whatever the reason, a little luck along the way might have changed their outcome. If their manuscript, press release, or blog snippet had fallen into the hands of a publisher or agent who was looking for their work on that given day, they might have been given the opportunity they’d been seeking for years.
The phrase “I’d rather be lucky than good” really doesn’t apply to writers. When it comes to writing, the expression should be “I’d rather be great and lucky.”