Living Up to Expectations?

As writers, we can have a lot of expectations thrown at us, sometimes without us even realizing it. We let others read our story but then, all of the sudden, they want this character to do this or something to happen in this scene. Then, before you realize it, these expectations are weighing you down and the way you originally saw the story going now feels… wrong.

Or sometimes these expectations come from ourselves. We expect ourselves to be better. To not struggle so much or not procrastinate. We beat ourselves up when we get writer’s block or are simply not in the mood to write. In a way, we feel as though we’ve failed. And the weight of it all can become too much.

Expectations are hard to deal with. We don’t want to let people down but we can’t give in to all their wants either. How do we handle it all?

The simple truth is: that you can’t make everyone happy. You will let some people down when the story doesn’t go how they wanted it to. Even if you aren’t experiencing this now, you will whenever you get published. Fans can be very opinionated but you can’t let them overshadow the story or your confidence.

If you know how you want your story to go then stick with it, because it’s exactly that–your story. Opinions are great and I personally love getting my friends’ thoughts on how a story is progressing and whether or not I should keep or change certain elements. But you can’t listen to everyone. You have to pick and choose which is right for the story.

As for the expectations you put on yourself, they can be great motivators to push you to be the best you possibly can be. But, more often then not, they’re distractors and deplete your self-confidence. When expectations become too much you have to have the strength to throw them out the window before they ruin your confidence altogether.

Just as you will let others down, you will let yourself down as well at times. I don’t mean that harshly just honestly. It’s the way of life. No one is perfect and by holding onto these unrealistic expectations you are holding yourself to this level of perfection that can’t be obtained.

Let go of these expectations and be free. Enjoy writing again. Have fun. And let go.

Your turn!

Do you have expectations hanging over you whether from yourself or other people? How do you let go of these expectations? How do you let go and embrace the joy of writing again?

Blessings, Allyson


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