Faith of a Different Kind

What is the relationship between faith and expectations?

I just finished Christine Hassler’s book, Expectation Hangover, after having it in my TBR queue for a loooong time.

One of the points she makes that rings true is about having a long period of adjusting and learning after each bout of disappointment (which she brands as a ‘Hangover’).

Days, months, years, even.

carl nightingale quote time will pass anyway pinterest

But it gets shorter and less deep each time, because you get better at processing, detaching, and learning.

The years are needed because this is when you develop faith, the kind I’m talking about, faith in yourself.

“Faith is not developed in times of certainty, but rather in the vast sea of the unknown.”

Last year I struck out to sample how a full-time writer’s life might look and feel. I had oodles of free time, most of which I spent at home alone. I could frame it as the life of an aristocrat, or the poor church mouse, because at different times I felt like both.

But when it came to the tasks I had set myself to accomplish: getting a professional author photo, updating book covers, submitting proposals for speaking gigs, etc–I labored in the dark, with too-big rubber gloves.

I felt stuck, and merely kept trying new things, to see if any would shake loose some results, either in terms of book sales, speaking engagements, writing contacts, or some unknown new variable.

Now that I am back in my busiest schedule since college (27 credits and a part-time job? Sure!), I continue to fumble along, no longer seeing clearly my stepped graph of new marketing efforts with each book’s publication.

normal vs my love life graph humor

Substitute “Career” for “Love Life”

My graph has got more complicated, overlapping, looping back, subsiding, sparking unexpectedly. With Book Number Four taking longer, I have had to innovate in different ways.

I still can’t predict which efforts will yield the results I seek, and merely keep on keepin’ on, some days.

This is faith.

And expectations? The way to avoid a hangover, in 3 simple steps:

  1. Reward your efforts, not your results, in healthy ways.
  2. Bolster your sense of self with replenishing solitude and social time with supportive friends.
  3. No matter the rate, don’t quit trying new things and putting in the time to improve.

These are the things I learned on my own, while waiting to read Christine’s book.

 

Does this resonate? How has your faith changed, or your expectations evolved, over your writing career?

 

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