Managing expectations—is this a thing? I laugh sardonically (or maybe maniacally) even as I write the title. Writers, by definition, are dreamers. We’re creative and our imaginations are dynamic, and naturally, this extends beyond storytelling. We see bestselling books and movie deals and plastic dolls for sale, fashioned in our character’s likeness. We dream of book awards and a place at the altar of literary greatness. Dreams are important. They push us to try new ways to tell a story, again and again, and most important of all, they push us to do our best.
The only problem is, they can also be paralyzing when they fail to materialize and cause crippling self-doubt. At times, we need to be grounded, come down from the castles in the sky, sit ourselves down and have a frank discussion about not only managing our expectations, but about how to avoid the wretched self-doubt that rears its ugly head when these dreams don’t go according to plan. Along the way, I’ve found myself in this position at times, and have come to understand a few grounded truths to live by: [Read more…]