I don't know about you, but I try to practice what I preach. Of course, sometimes it's easier said than done. I tell my daughter not to expect things. Go into a new experience with an open mind, make the best of it and let it play out the way it's supposed to. It's kind of like going to a movie. Don't you hate when you go to a movie that you've heard glowing reviews about and you leave thinking "meh?" But when you go to a movie that you know nothing about and end up having a great time, you get so happy you feel like you might smile for hours?
Take our careers for instance. We all strive to be the best we can be (in an author's case, to write the best book we can every day), but how do our expectations help or hurt us? If I expected to be a NY Times Best Seller, I might be waiting my whole life, not to mention be hugely disappointed if I never made it there. That might very well affect my writing which might affect future books. But if I go into a book, concentrating on my expectations for that ONE book and make it the best it can be and move on, then my expectations can be met (more easily). Let's face it, there are a TON of great books out there that never make lists for many reasons. Poor marketing, lack of promo...there are so many factors involved. Not to mention luck and timing.
I bring this up because in mid-March I attended the SoCalRWA Writers Conference and met Barbara Vey. I'd met her briefly years ago at an RWA conference, but never really had the chance to sit down and talk to her. Of course, I'd always (and only) heard lovely things about her and was thrilled to discover they are all true. She's fun and honest, very refreshing and I'll toss in delightful for good measure. (It all fits!) I was beyond thrilled when she asked to interview me for her Publishers Weekly Beyond Her Book Blog. What really floored me was her invitation to be one the authors at her Readers Appreciation Luncheon next April in Milwaukee. Talk about exceeding my expectations! (Of which, I should stress, I had none! BTW - Here is a shot of us after I moderated her workshop on Building Reader Loyalty.)
When you think about it, I have a conflict actually. How does my "no expectations" work with my publishing goals? I've been on this writer's road for thirteen years now and am doing the best I can to keep up with the job. (Sometimes it's overwhelming and sometimes it's pure bliss.) If I don't expect to make a list, but a list is my goal, then will I ever make it? I guess the answer is in the Universe somewhere...unless any of you can help me with it.
Let me know, what are your views on expectations vs. goals?
Dee J. Adams lives in Southern California with her husband, teenage daughter and 2 rescue dogs. Her Adrenaline Highs series is available at Carina Press and wherever e-books are sold.