Monday, 10 June 2013

Ode to Overcoming Expectations

I think the main theme of this blog is dealing with internal struggle as an author, and not on the part of characters. Maybe I tend to think about everything too much, but my story as a writer is not complete with my story as dealing with a multitude of mental roadblocks.

Today, I learned to let go.

It had nothing to do with writing, but a challenge I referred to a few blog posts back about swordplay. I hadn't met it for two days, not because I was busy, but because of my own expectations for myself. I had made it my goal to re-familiarize myself with a style of swordplay that I haven't practiced in many, many months, and although my body remembers the actions, my muscles no longer have the stamina for the particular actions required of them.

This was depressing on a number of levels, and for the past two days, I wanted to simply give up, put it off for another day. I had expected that I would have lost some strength, I had accepted that, but I hadn't realized quite how far it'd gone.

Obviously, I was conscious of the fact that I could return to my previous level of ability with practice, but my expectations were that I should be at that ability right this very moment.

It took me until today to shake off that expectation, and let it go. I had to accept that no, I'm not as fit as I was before, but that I can still work towards it.

This, I think, is still something that I need to work on for writing. I expect every sentence to come out perfect the first time, and get frustrated when they don't, so I start editing and writing at the same time which just makes me get stuck, become apathetic, or produce very little result for my effort. When I get there, I think it will be glorious.

So, here's to overcoming self-expectations, one at a time!


  1. You actually swordfight? :O That must make writing fight scenes WAAAYYYY easier. I just kinda make **** up and hope it works. (Okay, that's not -entirely- true - I -do- try to watch videos of swordfights and all that, but it's not the same.)

    Anyway. That's actually a really good point. Sometimes I get really frustrated with my writing, feeling like it -should- be better. Letting go of that would help me to just relax and let it flow, at whatever level it's at now. Not much to do about it but practice, right? :) Great post!

    1. Haha, it makes it both easier and harder. :P

      On the one hand, I know what it feels like to face someone with a sword in hand, but on the other, it's incredibly tempting to get super technical, but that would lose the reader because they'd have no idea what the terminology I'm using is.

      I still haven't learned to let go for writing yet either, but I hope practice makes it better! :)