Expectations can lift us high or drag us down. Sometimes, our imaginations or the joyful recommendations of other people conjure up such high hopes for whatever we plan that reality can’t match them. Then again, sometimes, what we do far exceeds our expections. Aren’t those fun times?
I’ve blogged this summer about changes as they pertain to my writing: so far, goals and abilities. This post is about…TA-DA!…expectations. Here are a few I’ve had over the years.
Expectation #1: What I submit to publishers is bound to find its way onto the printed page.
- Have you ever heard of rejection wallpaper? Every submitting writer has (at least) enough to do a small bathroom.
Expectation #2: I’ll get the moving picture in my head onto the computer screen using words and sentence structures that are perfect or only need a bit of tweaking.
- Where did that come from? Writing is hard work. Writing is frustrating. Writing is tweaking until you have no tweak left. Writing is like going to the theatre and watching the same movie over and over and over until the theatre stops playing it. Then again, writing is fun.
Expectation #3: Once I sell a novel, the publisher will run with the marketing of the book while I happily tap out the next one.
- Okay, so I’m just at the stage of seeking an agent, but honestly, I came at this website/blog stuff kicking and screaming. Anything new (particularly if it involves technology) makes me shudder. But honestly, I’ve come to love doing it. And I’m hoping that, when that first novel hits the bookstore shelves, you’ll have gotten to know me well enough to want to read it. Then, there are book signings, business cards and fliers to pass out, radio spots to do, guest blogging to get your name out there, bookmarkers to advertise the novel, contacting local papers, etc., etc., etc. I’m in business. Business people advertise their product and I am the one best able to advertise mine. It’s as simple as that.
Expectation #4: Writers are glamorous people like actors or singers.
- You know those photos paparazzi love to take of actresses wearing no make-up and their bellies hanging over their bikini bottoms? Enough said.
Expectation #5: I’d be too embarrassed to/don’t want to write romantic scenes.
- Pffft. They’re the most fun!
Expectation #6: My husband will be able to retire early.
- Actually, that was his expectation, not mine, but he still works hard at his daily grind.
I’m not complaining about changing expectations or anything with regard to life as a writer. I enjoy it. I’m simply saying that, instead of peering at future plans through rose-tinted lenses (or, heaven forbid, ones so dark those plans can’t be seen), use the good, ol’ clear plastic and expect both the good and not so good.
So, have you had plans that turned out to be totally different (good or bad) than you expected? Were you pleasantly surprised or disappointed?
Look for a special post this week: High-five Friday. Join me in congratulating and celebrating some recent writing accomplishments of authors you’ve read and some, I’m sure, you will have the opportunity to read in the future.