Writing Update: When Expectations Become Too Much

It’s been quite a while since I’ve done a writing update! If you’re signed up for my email list then you’ve been receiving my monthly newsletters and know a bit about my writing lately. However, something I haven’t discussed lately is the damage high expectations can have on us.

Surprisingly, I’m not talking about the expectations we may or may not feel from friends, family members, or other people in our lives. I’m actually talking about the expectations we put on ourselves. Yes, those expectations that we feel we can never live up to because we have set the bar of perfection so high.

That’s what I’ve been doing to myself lately. Setting the bar too high and then not being able to reach it, leaving myself feeling miserable because I can never reach the place that I want.

It’s not an enjoyable process.

I notice that I almost consistently do this with every book that I write. I love writing the beginning, the middle can be a struggle but I manage. It’s not until I’m near to reaching the climax of every story that my brain hits the brakes with a screeching halt.

My mind begins to go through every scene that I could have written better, could have made stronger, or could have done better. It goes through every possible way this climax could fail and how this book will never be the masterpiece that I dream it could be. It’s debilitating and often causes me to leave stories unfinished.

I no longer let myself not finish a story (I’ve done it too often in the past) but, if I’m being completely honest, I’m severely tempted with this story.

I love this story. It’s from my heart and when I first started writing it I thought maybe, just maybe, this will be the one I publish. But lately I’ve been incapable of writing so much as a hundred words some days and I wonder, is this story even any good?

Doubts are my number one enemy.

I’m not saying all this to garner pity or sympathy, that is not my purpose in the least. I want to say all of this in the hopes that maybe all of you won’t go down the same path I have. Don’t let yourself set too of high expectations for yourself.

For me, I often wonder how I can avoid setting high expectations for myself. Sometimes I think, just don’t let my brain even go there. But then other times, like in this instance, I never meant to let myself set too high of expectations. It just happened. So I don’t have an answer for how to avoid it.

However, I will say, the only way to not let those expectations become debilitating to your writing process, is through prayer. I have spent a lot of time in prayer. And it’s only by God’s grace some days that I write any words at all.

Writing is hard. That’s something I stress a lot on this blog. It’s not because I want to scare you away from ever wanting to write, but it’s because I want to be real and honest with you. Writing is not going to be a walk through the park. Some days, the good days, it may feel like that (those are the days we live for, aren’t they?), but on those other days, too often we’re tempted to give up. Because we weren’t prepared.

I have gone through too many times when I’ve been tempted to give up. Tempted to cave. That’s why I write this blog. I hope to help other writers avoid those temptations, or at least to help you get through them.

Don’t give up.

Don’t let your high expectations for yourself and your writing stop you from pursuing your dreams.

Keep writing. Never stop. Because there is someone out there who needs to read your story. So keep going, for that one person if for nothing else.

Never. Give. Up.

Your turn!

Do you set high expectations for yourself and for your writing? Are you ever tempted to give up? What hinders you from writing?

Blessings, Allyson


4 thoughts on “Writing Update: When Expectations Become Too Much

  1. Ugh, yes. I am *constantly* finding that I’ve put too much pressure on myself. To write more words, to write more often, to write *well*. Thank you for this!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I feel that. 😂 Expectations are so hard! But it’s something we need to conquer, because no one is perfect. I’m so glad you liked it!!

      Liked by 1 person

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