Great Expectations


I met a friend for lunch the other day. And apologized for the weather.

What is it about living in California that makes us apologize whenever the weather is anything but sunny and warm? I actually love the rain and the fog, but I know it’s not what people expect when they come to visit Solvang (the name actually means “sunny fields” in Danish!).

Expectations play a huge role in the world of books. When you attend a conference, you have high expectations for what you hope to achieve there (touch an editor, worship an author, beg an agent). Based on your query, agents and editors have certain expectations for your novel (so hopefully your query builds the right expectation).

Expectations seem to run the highest when we’re on the cusp of something new. New job, new friend, new book, new agent. I’m starting a critique group with a friend from writing class and I expect to improve my writing as a result. I enjoyed reading The Hunger Games so I expect to be blown away by Catching Fire. I’m visiting Las Vegas so I expect to have a great time with my family. I expect to find an agent soon and continue on the next step of my writing journey.

What are your Great Expectations for the near future?

12 thoughts on “Great Expectations

  1. I love how you look at this. You're right. So much of what we do is set expectations.
    Ok, here goes:
    I expect to get 8 pages written today. Kind of a goal, too, I guess.

  2. I was soooo looking forward to the season premiere of True Blood this week. The episode was good, but not excellent as usual. Maybe it was my high expectations?

  3. I expect to finish my novel in verse by the end of June. I also expect to NOT think it is total crap.

    I expect to thoroughly enjoy my kids while they are ALL MINE for the summer.

  4. I expect to sell our freaking book.

    It's actually more like I HOPE to sell our freaking book, but I really like the way expect makes it sound more real. Hmm…this might turn into a good visualization exercise.

  5. With my book just being out, I have high hopes of selling as many copies as I can. I suppose that could be an expectation.

    But frankly, my life is so upside down right now that I'm trying to keep my expectations simple. My daughter is gone until November and will be going to SE Asia soon. It's just a crazy time right now.

  6. I live in Michigan. If we apologized every time the weather was cruddy, we would apologize CONSTANTLY.

    But I get what you mean. I expect to finish revising the first third of my WIP. That's inside of my control. I have a lot of hopes that are OUTSIDE my control, but I'm trying to keep those under… uh… control.

  7. PJ – That's a good goal – hope you made it!

    Yat-Yee – I feel that same fear that it can't possibly meet my expectations 🙂

    Kelly – It's always a bummer when our expectations aren't met, huh?

    Rebecca – How exciting to have the end in sight! I'm expecting to enjoy my kids this summer too 🙂

    Lisa & Laura – Keep those freaking expectations high — they WILL be met!

    Kelly H-Y – It's a good list 🙂

    Rena – Sometimes having low expectations means you'll be pleasantly surprised when things turn out better than you expect!

    Christy – We hate to disappoint our visitors here 🙂

    Carrie – We used to be neighbors–I lived in Ohio until I was 10. And I expect you're in control of a lot more than you think…

    Maggie – I expect it to be a GREAT adventure!

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