From Imagination To Publication

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

IWSG - Letting Go of Expectations

Hello! This is my first time posting for the Insecure Writer's Support Group. For those unfamiliar with this awesome group, you can find out more here. In a nutshell, the IWSG aims to:
"share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!"
I've been meaning to join the team, but committing to anything these days is hard with 2 kids under 3 years old. I set a reminder on my phone, so hopefully that will keep me on top of it :)

Today, I wanted to post about letting go of expectations. When I discovered my love of writing about six years ago, with the start of my CHILDREN OF THE GODS series, I had such a carefree attitude toward the process. It was fun to imagine, brainstorm, draft characters and build a story. It was like my adult version of playing Barbies or make-believe. My first novel became my favorite toy. I carried it with me everywhere, in my head, and actually quite literally on my laptop. I remember carrying my laptop into KFC with me to eat lunch with some if I'd have time to open it up and draft a chapter in the midst of conversation, lol. My ideas, my characters, my story were all so exciting to me that I almost couldn't think about anything else.

Do you remember that joy? Are you in it now? Has that first rush of passion for your story become something you're chasing now that writing has become your career?

For me, I lost that feeling once I entered the intimidating world of publishing. Publishing my work turned my love of writing into a need to prove myself. Queries, conferences, agents, publishers, deadlines, etc. filled me with a tremendous amount of anxiety. Once my book was out there, it didn't end. I needed to make sales, make connections, gain visibility.

There was SO much pressure.

After finding an agent. Finding a publisher. Becoming a Barnes & Noble best-seller, I've actually found the most joy in taking my rights back and venturing out on my own.

For some reason, freeing myself of my publisher's expectations freed me of MY expectations. Without realizing it, I had made it my job to make them look good. To prove that I was a good investment. I measured my success based on their level of satisfaction, which was normally based on my sales.

Then there was the added pressure of deadlines. You can imagine how this leeched away my joy of writing.

Now that I am self-publishing under the Acorn Publishing label, I allow myself to not care how many books I sell, what my reviews say, what my rank is, etc. And I'll finish my next book when I finish It's a wonderful feeling to let go of my expectations and everyone else's for that matter.

I have a beautiful, loving family. They are the center of my world.

It feels great to finally be rid of the anxiety that plagued me for so long, so that I can focus my energy on them, and enjoy writing again, my way.

What writerly anxiety do you hope to overcome?


  1. Welcome to the IWSG!
    When it becomes a job with all the negative that goes with a job, it's no longer a joy. Glad you found yours again and have your series back.
    Would've been funny if you fired up your laptop in the middle of KFC!

  2. We can never truly know what to expect when we publish, so letting go of expectations is wise. I used to have joy for it until, like you, I joined the publishing world...or tried to get published. The joy has diminished but writing is still my love. :)

    Welcome to the group!

  3. It's lovely to hear that you are happy with self-publishing. It can be way too easy to get caught up in others' expectations of you – especially when money is involved. In my opinion, it's much better to make yourself happy and write the things that you want.

  4. That freedom you describe is actually one of the reasons why I went down the indie path myself. It's nice to have that passion for writing. I'm glad to hear you're enjoying your freedom!

  5. I know that wonderful feeling, and oh, the stress too. I do publish with a publisher, but I also self-publish as well. The only stress I get is from myself, and sometimes I'm my own worst boss! Wonderful that you have such a loving family. Enjoy your time with them. :)

  6. I love hearing about your journey to Published Author. a lot like mine only no kids, LOL.

    At this point, I don't have the fire to write that i once did. It is a job and takes time. It isn't easy. But darned if I'm gonna quit. I just need the occasional kick in the pants.

  7. Congratulations on finding your passions and freeing yourself from your doubts!

    For me, writing isn't a job, nor am I trying to make it one, so I have different expectations about it. I do hope that I write a good book and that someone will like it, but I don't feel the same anxiety that I HAVE to make sales and get X reviews and so on.

    IWSG March