About two months ago, I waxed un-poetically about goals and commandments I had given myself. After I was finished writing that post, I added to my list of blog topics to do a follow up post about my dreams and expectations. I decided this week would be a good week to explore those as I received an e-mail earlier this week informing me I had sold my first, and hopefully not last, story. To say I was floored, and still am, would be a gross misstatement. I’m cautiously optimistic but I think it won’t truly click what I accomplished until I see the story bound in a book. It’s just too surreal.
It is important to have dreams and expectations not only as a writer but as a human being. Expectations are those realistic assessments of what our talents, strengths, and weaknesses are. What can I expect out of myself at this moment? What do I think I do well and what areas do I want to work on? Before this starts sounding too much like a performance review, I’ll stop it right there.
For me, it has always been difficult to determine what I think I’m good at. I’m a humble person. My poo does stink. It is far, far easier for me to list deficiencies. Such lists are subjective but the older I get the more I have realized it is okay to say what I think I’m good at.
My expectations for my writing career are: 1) always push myself to improve with each piece, each draft, 2) to push my comfort zone and take chances with subject matter, point of view, or genre, 3) to be published more than once in my life, 4) build up my confidence, 5) to make a decent, not millionaire status, living doing what I love, and 6) develop a thicker skin but to also be okay with being disappointed or hurt if what I write isn’t liked or well-received. It happens to everyone but I shouldn’t bottle that initial emotional reaction. It’s okay to cry and rage but to do it in the privacy of my home and then move on. No need to run to the nearest craft store to make a voodoo doll of said critic.
I hesitate to list my dreams. They seem laughable and truly out there. But like expectations, dreams can motivate and push me along but not to the point of nuttiness I am very much prone to. I’m the harshest boss I could ever have and sometimes my performance reviews don’t go so well.
My fantastical dreams are: 1) get a book published, preferably more than one book (this is different than expectation #3, I’m more referring to short stories), and have it sell well, 2) to be considered a good writer (although great would be thrilling), 3) have one of my books turned into a mini-series produced either by HBO or BBC or together, 4) seeing ‘Best-selling author DH Hanni’, and 5) to hear someone say they love my work and it inspires them.
So there you have it. My dreams and expectations. One I can work towards and the other just something to do while staring off into space. Now to ride a unicorn whilst surfing a rainbow to the other side to beat up a leprechaun and jack his pot of gold.