Friday, January 29, 2016

Writerly Expectations

post by Michelle Griep
Expect to fail. A lot.
But that doesn't mean you're a failure. It means your writing failed, which is good news because it provides you the opportunity to start over again.

Expect to rage about technology.
It's inevitable you will lose some copy. Sometimes a lot. A glitch will happen and whammo! Fried mother board or mega-virus or you find out Kylo Ren used the force on your dang computer. At some point you will have to recreate lost copy and that's okay because it just might be better the second time around.

Expect to feel like quitting.
Everyone does. Every writer frequently thinks their writing is a heap of fresh elephant excretion. But just because you feel it doesn't mean you have to act on it. Shoot. I feel like eating an entire batch of chocolate chip cookie dough practically every day but I don't. Well, sometimes I do, but hey, I'm human.

Expect to dance on mountain tops and and lie belly-up in valleys.
The writing life is a rollercoaster. Victories walk hand-in-hand with defeats. It's kind of like being bipolar but without medication.

Expect to lower your expectations.
Every starry-eyed writer starts out with dreams of seeing his books on the shelves, contracts galore, and adoring fans busting down Barnes & Noble doors to snag a signed copy of his latest bestseller. Yeah. About that? Uh, nope. After a few years, those dreams dumb-down into something more manageable, like maybe getting your mom to read your latest manuscript.

Expect to work your fanny off.
Writing is not glamorous. It's shutting yourself off from the world and diving into a pretend story land. And once the story is finally writtten, you get to edit and edit then edit some more. Then there's marketing and squeaking in craft books and workshops so you can write even better.

Expect satisfaction.
True, there are a lot of negatives in a writer's life, but when that one reader contacts you and tells you what a difference your story made in their life . . . ahh. There's nothing quite like that feeling. Own it.


Yvonne Anderson said...

Well said, friend! I expect most writers will agree you've hit this dead on.

chappydebbie said...

I'm not a writer and I know you're spot on. Sharing! I will send the link to my blog to you once it goes live to remind you to share.....and FYI you have the link right here on your blog: Redemption Draws Near ;-) The post with you will go live tomorrow or Sunday....depending on my day.

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