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Life Not Meeting Your Expectations?

Liz here:

Let's face it. You'll have disappointments in your life. On a daily basis. It's one thing I've always tried to teach my children.

Life isn't fair.

Or, as a local radio host says, "Life is tough. Get a helmet."

Being a writer is a difficult job, one filled with disappointments. Your book doesn't turn out the way you want it to. Or your editor is hard to work with. Or your book doesn't sell the way you hoped it would.

This is the time when it's important to have a great support system around you. A crit partner can cheer you on, reminding you that what you wrote is good. Or helping you to make your next story even stronger. A husband who will rub your back or feet. A friend who will drop everything to bring you chocolate. Or cry with you.

Tweet: Life is tough. Eat chocolate.
Rely on them. They're there to help you. And ready to listen to you. Take advantage of them. That's why you have them in your life. You'll be there for them when they need you.

And when you've enjoyed your foot rub and eaten an entire box of chocolates, it's then time to get back in the game. The general rule in the industry is to allow yourself a day to wallow in your sorrow. The next day, it's back to the computer. Time to work on that manuscript or start another one or get back to social media and marketing.

Because the life of a writer is tough. But the rewards - like writing the end, getting a contract, winning an award - are definitely worth all of the disappointments.

What do you do when life doesn't meet your expectations?

When Things Don’t Go the Way You Expect

Jen here:

When we write stories, we are constantly putting our characters in difficult situations, creating disappointment and discouragement. But since we’re in control, we know what’s going to happen, that it’s for their own good, and that it’ll all end up happily ever after.

Too bad we don’t have those same guarantees in our lives. Any artistic pursuit will have disappointment. Probably more disappointments than there will be successes. And as artist, our temperament is to feel those losses more keenly.

Here are three things to keep in mind when things aren’t following your plan.

  • Life in general is a rollercoaster.

Add artistic pursuits and it goes to a whole ‘nother level of intensity. So—and I say this as a person reminding myself of it daily—try to roll with it. Yes, I realize that is not our natural inclination, but it is the tactic that will keep you sane. Sometimes you’ll have a great schedule and lots of productive writing time. Other times, your writer’s block is thicker than the Berlin Wall. Or you have no time because of other responsibilities like family, job, or your own health. Accepting the ebbs and flows of life embraces each day as a gift from God and part of His perfect plot as the Master Writer.

  • The publishing world is not about you.

Lack of success, however you want to define it, may or may no be related to your writing ability. Yes, you might have been rejected by a contest/agent/editor because your writing isn’t up to snuff. But there are also many, many other possibilities. I’ve sat in many pub boards as a managing editor. I’ve seen projects rejected for ridiculous reasons. And projects accepted on not much more than a whim. This is not a process you can control; there are so many variables. So you have to do your best then let it go. It is the only way to stay sane.

  • Keep doing you.

Most importantly, go back to your why. Why do you write? There are a lot of answers to this question. Focus on that and keep reaching for your why the best way you can in this season of your life. Everyone’s path is different, so don’t compare. Keep working on your craft and moving in the direction you feel led.

Life doesn’t wrap up nicely like our stories do. Take the curve balls that will come as an opportunity to touch back with your values and keep pressing on!

Expectations Not Met

Diana here:

Thad Zajdowicz Crying Giant

Expectations Not Met

At the beginning of the year, we talked about goals and how to set them. Now, it’s six months later, how are you doing?

Did you write goals and then shove them out of your mind, in a drawer, or a file you never open?


Did you tackle them?

If you have been working on them are you still excited? Have you had the results you expected? Or have your expectations not been met? Do you feel like you’ve been dashed against a rocky shore with the waves tearing you apart? Or worse, pushed out of the water onto dry land?

Do not fear. Every writer has been there, multi-published, one book published and the not yet published.

But what’s the difference between those that keep going and those that quit when the expectations don’t look anything like the writer wanted?

The first thing a successful Christian writer does is to consult God. Are you working according to His plan for you? If you’re like me, you feel like nothing is happening, and wonder if you have stepped off His path.

This is the time to re-evaluate and if you feel you’re still doing what you need to do, then persevere. The rejection you received yesterday means ONE place said no. Not everyone said no. So send it out again, or become an indie author if you don’t want to wait any longer.

Make sure you take the effort to reward yourself for getting that rejection. You did the work, you emailed it to publishers, and you waited and waited for an answer. That’s a big deal. Many writers never take the step to send off their work. So celebrate that you’ve met that expectation. Honor the work you've done!

But what if you wanted to accomplish didn't happen? 
What if you expected to be able to spend 15 hours a week writing and then you had to work overtime at the job that pays the bills? Or what if you have to help an ailing family member, or take on childcare responsibilities?

All of those things happen to everyone. You learn to adapt. You change your expectations to fit the day, the week, or the month. Seasons in life change. Remember that and it will make not meeting your expectations less painful.

When those times happen to you change your goals to something smaller, break down the big stuff. Instead of writing 15 hours a week, take to write a character sketch or setting sketch.

If that's still too big of an expectation grab a writing book and read it then you'll still be working on your career.

One I've recently read and liked is The Miracle Morning for Writers
another isWriting the 21st Century Fiction

Above all remember with God the ultimate expectation will be met as long as you hold onto and believe in His Son, Jesus.