Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Great Expectations

The third question I’m exploring from my 8 Questions Every Writer Must Ask Themselves is:

What do I expect out of this journey, including what are my expectations of those I come across along the way?

On this I 8 Wednesday, here are 8 layers to excavate while getting to the root of your expectations.

  • There’s a slippery slope between the word expectation and the word entitlement.

  • It’s one thing to have a goal and another thing to expect someone to make that goal happen for you.

  • If you’re thinking it’ll only take six months to secure an agent and then another six months to be published, you’re in for the shock of your life (and great disappointment).

  • If you’re hoping to be endorsed, but aren’t willing to give back in any way, there’s something wrong with that hope.

  • How you handle your disappointment says a lot about your character. How you handle your success says a lot about your character.

  • By conducting research and talking to others in your field you’ll be able to ascertain reasonable expectations to set.

  • A valuable question to ask yourself from time to time is whether you’d still write if you knew you’d never get published.

  • Are you giving more than you’re taking? Are you devoting the necessary time that will result in some expectations being met? Do you put too much pressure on yourself or on others? How grateful of a person are you? How easy is it for you to grant grace?

Have you learned anything specific related to expecations on your journey?

*photo by flickr


  1. Ahhh, and Miss Wendy, you're doing it again. Making me think.

    I'm learning that everything is a stepping stone in the understanding and education part of the industry.

    Great post Wendy, thanks!

  2. These are great questions, definitely food for thought! far as writing/publishing goes and my expectations? At this point I don't really have any. First of all, it's not something I ever "dreamed" about, so I've never pursued it until this year...but mainly because I feel God is leading me in that direction. So in a sense that answers the other question, would I write if I knew I'd never get published. It's what I've already been doing, so that answer is yes.

    I'm not in any hurry, so I don't have any time demands. In fact, I almost feel like why would anyone want to read what I have to say? But it's one of those things that feels like a calling from God...He has something He wants to say through little old me...very sobering indeed. With that in mind, I just take baby steps.

    The slippery slope between entitlement and expectation? Ouch...that could apply to other areas of my life for sure!

    Great post!

  3. Too many expectations bring too many disappointments, but no expectations can bring no hope... Over the years Ive learned to be realistic, not expecting much...but hoping and praying, yet ultimately knowing everything happens in God's timing. I could be the best writer out there, but if I'm not ready, it won't happen. So I cling to that when rejections come and continue on the path of learning and crafting, knowing God will lead the way no matter how long it takes.

  4. These are FANTASTIC and wise questions Wendy! Many will be blessed by answering them!

  5. Those are great statements! And so true. I love the one about expectation on getting an agent and published. I laughed.

  6. This is a list of great statements to ponder, and questions to ask yourself.

  7. That's a great list. I think the further you get in this quest, the more you realize that you need to think about those things, especially on how you handle failure or success.

  8. True what you say about how we respond to success or disappointment. Both ought to be handled with care, and with grace.

  9. That tough question--would I still write if I knew I wouldn't get published. Tricky one. I'd like to think the answer is "yes," and I do truly believe it is...but then again it's just a hypothetical question, right? ;)

  10. I think I retreat when the going gets tough sometimes. Good thoughts to think about for me and what I expect. :O)

  11. Because of my background working as an assistant editor for a small publishing company, I embarked on my journey to publication with a fairly realistic set of expectations. I knew firsthand how difficult it can be to see your book in print.

    Because of my insider's look at the publishing industry, I feel such a profound sense of gratitude and awe as I look at all the Lord's done in my life the past five and a half years. I'm also amazed at how He's using my past in my present. I know I shouldn't be, but not having muddled through some of those years without the benefit of foresight, I am.

  12. Sure, make MY post look puny against your elegant, thought-provoking words. :P

    Great post, Wendy. I'll have to go ponder these for awhile.

  13. Ahhh, those are great. Especially: A valuable question to ask yourself from time to time is whether you’d still write if you knew you’d never get published.
    That's the BIG one.

  14. When I came to realize that the road to publication was steeper and more boulder-strewn than I'd ever imagined, I knew it was a watershed moment.

    Was I going to sit on the side of the road and just wait to die?

    Was I going to kick, cry, rail against the system, or be generally obnoxious to everyone else on the path?

    Or was I going to lace up my hiking boots, spit on my hands, shoulder my dreams and keep walking?


    And one of the greatest joys in the journey is the lovely people like you that we meet along the way. :)

  15. Huh. I think you should write non-fiction. I don't know how you come up with these wonderful points so easily. If I've learned something, I probably couldn't verbalize it as well as you have here. Great reminders, thank you!

  16. I cringe when I think of all my expectations as a new writer. Some day I'm sure I'll cringe remembering how naive I was as a newly published writer. Lol.

  17. Hi Wendy -

    I had no clue how the publishing industry operated or how long this journey would take. I've learned a lot about the three P's: Prayer, Patience, and Perseverance.

    Susan :)

  18. Weny, that's a great list! I didn't know how much I didn't know in this journey!

  19. Wendy:
    This journey has been one of learning for me. I need to reflect on the character comment.
    I need to develop a thicker skin.


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