It’s funny how things come into our minds from seemingly out of nowhere. This week for me it was the subject of expectations. Years ago, I was told an acronym which stuck with me– False Expectations Appearing Real illustrating how a lot of our fears are not based on reality. To some degree, that is true of all expectations– based on hope, past experience, and what we’ve read maybe.
For those who do creative work, where so much of how it will be seen by others is subjective, expectations can work for or against us. It will never sell. No gallery will accept it. No reader will buy it. I should show it to no one as nobody will like it. I am wasting my time.
When I see that one of my books got a review, I go to read it with trepidation as I never know what I’ll see. I try to take either praise or condemnation in stride– well, what’s my choice? Once it’s out there, I try to let the results go. Results are out of my control. My expectation is some will love what I do and some will hate it. Thinking about a few authors who had phenomenal success, and then chose to not put out more books, like J.D. Salinger, was that based on expectations that he could not match what he had earlier done. We will never know for sure.