We all have expectations in life. We expect good in our lives. We expect happiness. We expect fun. We expect success. We expect respect. We expect love.
Yet sometimes these expectations are difficult in achieving. Every writer expects success. And new writers, especially young writers, expect success to happen quickly. They expect fortunes to be made, recognition and respect to come their way sooner than later.
There’s nothing wrong with expecting these things. Sometimes, though, it takes awhile to achieve them. You write something new and wonderful and expect others to see it the way you see it. And when they don’t, you question the honesty and sincerity of the universe. You get depressed. Maybe you even get angry. Maybe you become cynical. Maybe you feel other writers are stealing the good that is yours, that you’ve worked hard for and earned, taking your rightful success and honor and wealth away from you. Maybe you even end up hating the world, hating other writers, hating readers, hating yourself.
It is natural and healthy to expect success in your life. But sometimes you have to work for it. And you cannot blame others for your failures. Sure, some others might steal your glory and your fame, your wealth, your audience and your success, and even your works away from you. But such people and such instances are few and far between.
How far? As far from you as the other side of the Milky Way Galaxy. Which, if you don’t know it, it’s not just the name of a candy bar, it’s also the galaxy we all live in.
We grow up believing that we are the Batman and Superman, the Wonder Woman, the Thor and Captain America and Ironman, of our lives. That we are the heroes of our lives. And when things don’t quite work out the way we wish them to, we wonder what super villains, what Darth Vaders and Voldemorts are robbing us of our joy.
We also are told that with a little hard work, we can succeed in whatever we set our minds to accomplish. But the fact of the matter is, that not everybody can be a football star, a great basketball or baseball star, or an Olympic hero.
But that doesn’t mean that you have to settle for second best. You just have to figure out where you want to go and then work as hard as it takes until you get there.
You have to be patient. Hard work is not just for building houses, running businesses, and sweating in fields planting and harvesting crops until your empire is built. Hard work is also hope, faith in yourself and others, joy at little accomplishments until they add up into the big accomplishments that achieve your goals.
And it’s okay if you reset your goals along the way. Sometimes your interests change as you move toward your goals and you find you no longer want the fame and fortune but just for your work to be respected and enjoyed. There’s nothing wrong in that, either.
As long as you love what you’re doing, as long as you love your audience and your fans, as long as you love yourself, you’re already a success.
Don’t envy or hate others for achieving success sooner than you. Sometimes, they’re just not as good as you are but the public likes what they’re doing better than what you’re doing. Somebody will discover your talent someday (let’s hope it’s not after you’r dead). But if success does happen after you’ve left this mortal veil, well maybe your work will last longer than those others.
How many famous writers and dancers, composers and musicians have come and gone over the decades and centuries, have made money, have had brief moments of fame and are now forgotten?
The first and best kind of success is in loving what you’re doing. When you stop loving what you’re doing, no amount of success and no amount of money will make you happy. You might think loving what you’re doing doesn’t matter, that success and money are enough. But if that’s true then why are there so many drug addicts and alcoholics who are artists and musicians and writers in the world, and why aren’t they happy unless they’re high?
Have hope. Believe in yourself. Trust that you will find an audience and that it will love you as much you love what you’re doing. And don’t give up.
See you out there.