Remember a few years ago when Oprah made The Secret all the rage? It had something to do with focusing on positive thoughts and manifesting your own destiny. You could pin a picture of your dream mansion on a cork-board and then if you just focused on it enough, it would magically be yours some day. Or some such rot.
Suffice it to say that I was never a fan.
It's not that I'm an inherently negative person. In fact, a few years ago, when I was preparing to go on the academic job market, I bought myself suits and plane tickets to the conference 8 months in advance. I had done everything I could to be the best candidate possible, and I was confident that I'd get interviews. I was sure that good things would happen.
I've never worn the suits, so let's just say I've tempered my positive thinking since then.
But the one thing I've come to truly admire about the writing community is their tremendous ability to remain positive and upbeat throughout the often long and difficult process of becoming a published writer. Over and over again, I've been amazed and inspired by writers who have kept at writing after years and years, and who continued to believe that if they just kept at it, things would start happening for them. And over and over again, I've been ecstatic for people when all that positivity and perseverance finally pays off. (I'm looking at you, especially, Carla Swafford.)
I'm not sure how you all do it.
Since I started writing, I've kind of been of the mind that if I just don't expect anything, I'd be pleasantly surprised if this whole writing thing works out, instead of completely devastated if it doesn't.
Sure, it's a defense mechanism, but it's one that's worked for me. It was my lack of expectations that got me through the many, many agent rejections when I queried. In fact, I think it was that lack of expectations that gave me the courage to send out the queries in the first place.
But I did get an agent and, as of yesterday, the book is officially on submission. As much as I'm trying to hold onto those lack of expectations, as much as I'm trying to tell myself that the book still might not sell, I'm more nervous and excited than I've ever been about the possibility of it selling.
To be honest, that's kind of scary for me. It feels like I might jinx the whole thing if I start anticipating The Call that might never come. So I'm going to bury myself in my new WIP, occupy myself with running around after the kids, and try really, really hard to not check me email and cell phone every ten minutes. I'm not going to expect too much, maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised.
After all, it's worked so far :O)
How do you keep yourself sane during the waiting? Or in the face of rejections and road blocks?