Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Expectations

Kiersten White once said on he blog "Don't let your expectations poison a perfectly good reality."   

It's easy to picture the end goal in your mind.  We imagine other people who have reached that goal standing around wallowing in their success and we wonder why we aren't there with them. Whether your goal is being published, weight loss, education, career, or what have you it's easy to make ourselves miserable dwelling on each rejection and obstacle. 

But when we do this we miss out on all the great learning experiences.  When you focus solely on blogging to impress an agent with your platform you miss out on all the friends you could make and the things you could learn.  If you push yourself on your story, closing your mind to other things you might miss some great inspiration for your next story, or the lives of your family. 

The thing with writing is that there really is no destination.  The moment you arrive at a spot and have nowhere else to go you know your writing career is over.  So why do we spend so much time resisting the journey, and looking for shortcuts?

When we reach our goal are we disappointed because  there isn't as much money, fans, recognition involved as there was in our daydreams?  So what.  You're still there. Don't let that expectation that was based on inaccurate information ruin the happiness you could have.

Yes, it's good to know where you want to go and to have a plan on how to get there.  But it's also important to enjoy the journey.  Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to think of a few positive things from being where you are in your journey. 

My postivies:
Since I don't have deadlines I can take the time I need to get it right.  I also have the flexibility I need for my small children.

I still have time for blogging.  Ever notice that when someone gets a contract they all of a sudden announce a blogging break so they can finish edits by deadlines?

I can explore any genre, theme or story I want since I don't have to worry about platform or creating a following. 

I know there are more but my kids are up so I'm going to exercise my flexibility and stop now. 


33 comments:

  1. That's a good post, Sarah! We all have flexibility, but we don't see it for preconceived notions of what we *think* we should be doing. Thanks for the reminder. ; )

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    1. Those pesky preconceived notions are always obscuring what is.

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  2. It's not the destination, but the journey that's important. Thanks for the reminder. And enjoy your time with the little ones ((:

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  3. Sometimes it takes bloggers a long time to figure this stuff out. Kudos to you for understanding what it demands. I don't have the answers, mostly because I'm hooked on the process. But thanks for sharing, Sara. You've got me thinking about my expectations, so I'm off to meditate.

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    1. I do enjoy the process too. That's why I keep doing it. But sometimes I get a little lost in the view of where I'm heading.

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  4. This was a beautiful post, Sara. Very centering.

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  5. I find this to be very true. Wonderful words.

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  6. "Don't let your expectations poison a perfectly good reality."

    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

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    1. It was a great quote. My typos through the post notwithstanding.

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  7. Oh yes - I'm glad I'm not the only who noticed that about edits vs blogging.
    Here's a funny thing - self-published authors seem to make more time for their online friends. Whereas traditionally published authors sometimes seem to drop off the radar...

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    1. I've seen that, but I've also seen some self pubbed who disappear while drafting and come out for marketing only when the book is out.

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  8. Great reminders! It's important to remember what counts.

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  9. Excellent reminds Sara :) I'm always trying to be better about being where I am rather than racing forward but it's soooo hard. I try, I try.

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    1. We all try and if we all succeeded all the time we wouldn't be human.

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  10. I meant, excellent reminders. Hate typos! Ha.

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  11. I think I need to take that quote - print it out in large font - and hang it up! Very true. Great reminder :)

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  12. Love this. Couldn't agree more. I write what I love, what I want to read, what flexes my writing muscles. And I blog for my daughter, so one day she will understand my passion, what makes me tick; that I'm not just playing games at the computer all day. People either get that, or they don't. The ones who get it are the ones I want to stick around. That includes other writers, agents, publishers, etc.

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    1. I love that you blog so your daughter will understand your passion. Best reason ever.

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  13. So well stated. Especially love the part about if you've 'arrived' -- it's over. Perfect.

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    1. That would be horrible. To get somewhere and not be able to journey or improve any more.

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  14. It really is about the journey and if you don't enjoy this part of it you will probably not enjoy what comes later!

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    1. So true! It doesn't necessarily get any easier.

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  15. Great post, Sara. So very true. It's all about enjoying the journey.

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  16. I love your perspective. There are a lot of good things in the present!

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    1. There are, we just need to remember to enjoy them.

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  17. I like your list of positives. I try to keep those in mind when I'm feeling envious of what stage other writers are at... (yeesh, talk about an ungrammatical sentence!)

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