Monday, November 1, 2010

Motivational Monday - On Expectations


"Have zero expectations. Don't dream about winning a Pulitzer, making a hundred thou on your first (or thirty-first) book. Don't write any acceptance speeches for the three N's: Nebula, Newbery, and National Book Award. Don't plan your outfit for the Oprah show or practice crossing your legs while talking to Katie Couric. Don't expect to find your books piled high at Borders or in the window at Barnes and Noble. Don't search for your numbers. Write the damn story. Nothing else matters." ~ Jane Yolen from TAKE JOY

Whenever we go to Disney, I always hope an opportunity will present itself where I can get a picture with a character without standing in line for an hour and a half. I LOVE the characters. But there is enough standing in line at Disney. So each day when we go, I don't think about characters or worry about them or expect to see them. I put it all in the back of my mind. So when I do find one without much of a line, or simply walking along so I can ask nicely, "Can I get a quick picture?" (as was the case above) it's always happy-making. It isn't my goal - it just happens as a result of being in the right place, at the right time.

With our writing too, as Jane says, we must not have high expectations. We must put everything in the back of our minds that might get in the way of the actual writing. If wonderful things happen, it will be because your story was in the right place at the right time. And it's certainly nothing to worry about or even think about NOW.

"Write the damn story. Nothing else matters."

I'm pretty sure truer words have never been spoken.


  1. Well said. And when THAT story is done and out in the world, write another one! :-)

  2. Love it!! That is what I plan to do this month :-) Thanks Lisa

  3. I love Jane Yolen. She tells the truth.

    Great quote from her. Thanks so much for sharing. I'm adding it to my collection.

  4. I love Jane Yolen! Her blog is one of my favorites.


  5. I heart this advice, and the way you explained it. Worrying will just make waiting harder, right?

    Thank you! I needed to read this today.