The other day I had a casual friend ask me if I’d sold any books. I giggled, and responded that I haven’t even sent my query letters out for representation yet. “Oh,” he said. “So, you haven’t really accomplished anything.” He wasn’t being mean or snarky, but he does have a different idea of accomplishment then I do.
When he said that I about fell down and roared with laughter. Instead, I laughed softly and said. “I wrote a book, dude. That’s a huge accomplishment.” And it is. I’ve written my book and it’s gone through edits and revisions. I’ve learned how to write a query letter, and a synopsis. These are not easy things! So each step is an accomplishment. Especially when you deal with Fibromyalgia and assorted autoimmune diseases, each one messes with cognitive function and makes things harder than they should be. It takes me much longer then it ever used to, to get things done. But that is ok. I do eventually do it.
So, accomplishments. I have them and they make me happy, I am well on my way towards my next accomplishment. That will be sending out my first flurry of agent queries. I’m on pace to reach my goal of getting them out by the end of the month.
That brings me to expectations. When people find out you’ve written a book and hope to publish, they have the expectation that it goes pretty quickly. If you’re a writer you know the process takes years. My expectations are fairly modest. I expect myself to accomplish the goals that I set. Period. One at a time. And I have been doing that and it pleases me.
It’s harder to explain that to people who aren’t familiar with how I work. And don’t know how the process works. Expectations are the way to disappointment. I don’t expect everyone to love my book. I don’t expect to find an agent right away. I do however, expect to send out a LOT of queries. I hope, that an agent will love it enough to want to represent it. The best thing we can do for ourselves is ignore other people expectations. Focus on our goals and be proud when we accomplish them.