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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Post Conference Part One: Time is Money

Let's all pretend this is Monday's posting, as promised. Don't all creative people struggle with high expectations of what will be accomplished in a short time? Don't we all expect to come back from such an event invigorated and ready with tons of energy to leap to write or whatever? Do you experience this type of over-expectation?

Since I received a "yes" (go ahead and send pages) from several agents, I'm excited to send those out. But as my good friend Kathy of Well Placed Words mentioned to me, we forget that even good stress is stress and while the fatigue doesn't last as long as from stress, all the excitement and focus and work is tiring. And everything takes longer than is expected. Unpack, do laundry, catch up from days away...meanwhile it's frustrating not to work on writing.

So, dear readers, does this resonate? What do you do when over-expectations get in the way?

16 comments:

Jim Murdoch said...

Me? Oh, I had what we used to call a nervous breakdown. In fact I've had them on a regular basis, roughtly every eight years, since I was twenty-three.

My question would be: Whose expectations are we talking about here? In order to succeed I always aimed to exceed. I was, am and probably always will be, my own worst enemy. Rather than little failures, rather than having an "it'll do" attitude I've always saved them up for one big crash. And all the truisms, platitudes and wise words of wisdom in the world have never stopped me.

Dave King said...

Yes, that resonates, Conda. Very much so. Creative people tend to dismiss time as unimportant, but the rest of the world has its deadlines and timetables and we are expected to keep up. Hence the stress.

Helen Ginger said...

Ya gotta have a little stress in order to succeed, I think. Too much is not good for your health, but a bit presses you forward. It certainly works for me when I have a set deadline.

Helen
Straight From Hel

Conda V. Douglas said...

Just goes to prove you're a writer, Jim! The first night of the conference I didn't sleep a wink and thought I was the only one...WRONG! And yes, we do this to ourselves.

Conda V. Douglas said...

Dave--if only we could live a creative life free from the restraints of others' expectations of--oh, paying the bills!

Conda V. Douglas said...

True, Helen--and there is GOOD stress as well, stressing a muscle makes it stronger--certainly this conference made my writing muscles work!

Kathy McIntosh said...

Thanks for mentioning something wise I said. If only I'd listen to myself on occasion!
The over-expectations are almost always mine, those of an inveterate, seemingly untrainable optimist.
I always think I'll get more done; and almost always berate myself when I don't. Which is draining of needed energy and creativity.

Swubird said...

Conda:

I have to be careful to measure my expectations against the amount of effort I'm truly willing to commit to the project.

Happy trails

Conda V. Douglas said...

And if I know you correctly, Kathy, then you berate yourself for berating yourself! Only creative people can tie themselves in such knots.

Conda V. Douglas said...

Swu--oh, my, how I do that too. I always think "Oh, I'll just whip this out in 15 minutes" and an hour later...

Lynda Lehmann said...

My husband always says "Be careful what you wish for." I have found that to be so true, and I try to pace myself and not to commit to too much, at once. Being overwhelmed is a bad state to be in. Life does enough of that, to us, without our sanction!

My advice is to just stick with your priorities, but give yourself a reasonable amount of slack and time for each goal.

Lynda Lehmann said...

My advice is to stick with your priorities but give yourself some slack and a reasonable amount of time for each project.

I try to watch what I wish for, because I don't enjoy being overwhelmed. I try to pace myself with my goals...

Conda V. Douglas said...

Ah, wise, wise words, Lynda, with both your posts. My problem (and I suspect this is shared with many other creative people)is that I want it all, right now! Following a passion brings the desire to catch it!

Lynnette Labelle said...

Yay! Requests! Congrats!

Lynnette Labelle
http://lynnettelabelle.blogspot.com

Helen Ginger said...

I'm back because I forgot to say - Yay! on getting asked for pages. That always sends a writer's heart doing cart-wheels. Congratulations.

Helen
Straight From Hel

Conda V. Douglas said...

Lynette and Helen thank you! And yes, I've been cartwheeling my heart, good exercise!