28 April 2016

Exceeding Expectations

**My theme for this year's A to Z Challenge is THE REVISION PROJECT. Topics I come across while I write the third draft of my novel, Uneven Lines.**

But clearly it was supposed to happen, since the universe so conveniently placed the answer right in the palm of my hand. I mean, I’m used to getting my way, but this was more than that. This was a sign.

I'm not exactly the type of person to believe that things will go my way. I don't honestly believe that I'll finish this book in the near future and get it published and then all my dreams will come true. But that doesn't mean I don't dream, either. I guess the weirdest part about that is that sometimes I actually worry that these dreams will come true. What if it's just too much for me to handle? What if I just want to run and hide instead? 

I won't deny the fact that I dream big. I mean, I lead a very rich fantasy life. And it's this weird mixture of thinking/hoping that all of these things will come true while also being incredibly rational thinking that they couldn't possibly happen. Like, I'm delusional, but I'm also very much aware of how delusional I am. Sometimes I wonder if these thoughts are helping or if they are holding me back. 

It's not just because I worry about reality not living up to my expectations. That's pretty much guaranteed to happen. There's another underlying fear that I don't really like to think about that much. What if these dreams do all come true? Am I really the type of person who can handle it? I'm not exactly one for the spotlight. I mean, I can't even take the pressure of being a bride right now and only six people are coming to my wedding. So why do I think being some famous author is going to work out for me? 

But I also think everything happens for a reason. I've always thought that this story is bigger than me, because it was just so strange that I even came up with it in the first place. I feel like it serves a bigger purpose than just being a story, but I can't know what that is now. 

And then there was the sign, of course. I know I've mentioned it a few times with my weird vagueness, and that's for two reasons. I don't really want to talk about it that much until I actually know whether or not it was a sign. That could take years to figure out. But also I don't want to explain it and have people say, that's not a sign, you're just crazy! I'd like to hold onto that little bit of hope. 

I will tell you that it involved at least four coincidences at once. I knew three of them beforehand, which was pretty much why I was where I was in the first place. Things seemed to line up perfectly and I just had to be there. What I didn't expect was the fourth coincidence, and it kind of slapped me in the face. I've mentioned before that my novel has colors--blue and gray (yes, I know it's weird, but stay with me). I suddenly realized those two colors were right there, front and center. It was kind of nerve-wracking to realize this. What did it mean?

I know the more logical explanation is that it meant nothing and it was just a big coincidence. But it was just so weird that I still think about it from time to time over three years later. Was this the universe's way of telling me things will work out? Or am I just nuts? 

Either way, the thought of success is mildly terrifying. What if I can't handle it? I feel like I'm the kind of person who would rather go hide in a cave than shine in the spotlight. But that doesn't mean I don't want to finish and publish this book. So I guess, like most things, I'll have to take it one step at a time. 

Are you afraid of success? Do you think the universe sends signs?


  1. That traditional idea of success is terrifying. I honestly don't know what I would do if I became a successful author who actually sells books and has fans who want to talk about said books. I'd probably have to hire someone to pretend to be me in public because I'm just so terrible at talking to people about my book(s). Seriously, I've been in this new writers group for about ten months now, and I only just admitted to them that I wrote a book. Maybe in another ten months, I'll tell them what it's called.

    But my personal definition of success is much more modest. As long as I'm writing books I'm happy with, I am successful. If other people happen to like them as well, then I guess that's okay.

    And I do think the universe sends signs. I love that your novel has colors. I don't think mine does.

  2. I think some people don't know what to do with success when it happens. I would count myself as one of those people. It's been a dream of mine to write a novel and have it published. I know it's not going to happen right away, but sometimes I fear what will happen if my dream comes true. And that's a big "if."

    G. R. McNeese from
    Project Blacklight

  3. Sure I'd like to make money off my books, but do I want fame and the loss of privacy? Hmmm, no so much.

  4. The number of authors who are famous enough to worry about privacy issues is so tiny, I wouldn't worry about it too much. But I would definitely be a mess. The flash of a camera is one of the worst migraine triggers for me. I would have to go around with a welder's helmet on my head.

  5. If you think it was a sign, it was a sign - no matter what anyone else says. That's why you got the sign, and they didn't :-)

    I am not afraid of success. I'm kind of hoping for it.

  6. Dammit, I just lost my comment. In short, I've asked myself the same question, but because I'm a writer, fear of becoming famous hasn't stopped me. It's a bridge we'll deal with if we ever get a chance to cross it.

  7. I can completely empathize. I dream big too, and I'm often asking myself if I could handle it if they did come true. I think it's a natural fear, but the trick is not to let it stop us. You sound like you've got it right. :)

  8. Success is such a relative term, that I have a hard time fearing it. I do know some people prefer to remain in the shadows even after their names/faces are recognized. That seems logical.

  9. I think most writers are afraid of success, and I'm not sure if it's because we are more sensitive than most, or because we tend to be introverts and not want to be recognized, but honestly, authors--even famous authors--aren't always known in person, because we are known for our characters, our stories, or our names, and not by what we look like (unlike musicians and actors, for example).
    And your colors in your novel sounds so cool! I hope I get to read your book when you finish it. :-)

  10. Success or to SUCCEED, I've had a happy and productive life, calling myself 'Jane of All and the Queen of None'. So be it! I know mega tons about writing, storytelling, and media arts, I'm very creative. I've travel and am all over the web having friends here and there. I choose the wrong profession at the wrong time, or I'm just on the edge, one e-published book Rhyonna's Fright which took 35 years. That is success. Still waiting for the big roll of money, is that the esteem/success story. Am I not afraid of success, it's waiting to knock on my dreams.

    Great, information, like your blog.
    wordpress; and twitter; writing is BlobBlobandBlogging; atozchallenge is The Story Realm.
    I love stories: personal, classics, tradition, and modern.

  11. I think when we are looking, those signs appear.

    Fear of success is a real fear. It means more pressure, more expectations, to produce more and better. I'd be willing to find out if I could handle it.

  12. I completely understand! I have a very real fear of success, which I manipulate to sabotage my own efforts. But then as I write that out, I feel so brazen... as if I fear it because it will happen (and I by no means have that kind of confidence).

    In the end... you are right. We can only take one step at a time. And worrying has no place in the process.

    On another note... I hope you completely enjoy the spotlight on your wedding day :)

  13. I'm always afraid if I dream too hard about something, I'll jinx it. There are no coincidences.

    Susan Says

  14. J here, of the #atozchallenge Arlee Bird's A to Z Ambassador Team. With love from #azchat - the last for the year.
    My blog's giveaway is still going.
    It really is a risk. But I guess sometimes you need to let the cards fall where they may.

  15. It is a risk but without risk there's no success is there?

    Joy @ The Joyous Living

  16. Yup. I get stage fright in front of people. When it comes to my writing I am gonna do it anyway. Not for the money though I need it to make money, but for the love of it. I love it enough to take the risks. Now to convince my subconscious so it will quit holding me back and distracting me.
    Juneta @ Writer's Gambit