We grow-up being expected to do certain things.
Walk, talk, read, go to school and work hard. Then we have to get jobs, have relationships, maybe marry, have babies. The list is long.
Should we feel bad if these things don't happen the way we thought or follow a linear pattern? No, because we have a brilliant way of adapting to the twisty journey of life. We take it as it comes.
So when we write are our expectations any different?
We set out to write a story and expect our novel will turn out a certain way. We give birth to these characters and they live through our words. We create their world around them.
As literary parents we help them grow. We expect they will to run into some conflict, meet someone, fall in love, get their hearts broken...maybe even fight some sort of giant squid monster who wants to rule the world.
That is, until a plot twist surprises us and we go in another direction. A character pops into our heads we weren't aware of and throws us off course. Or our MC says, 'Are you crazy? I wouldn't do that.'
Should we feel bad for not following the specific course we set out on?
I've learnt that writing doesn't always go from A to B. It likes to be mischievous. Sometimes it forces us to take a trip through G,D,F and back to A before reaching B.
It also raises questions on the expectations we have before we enter the world of edits, queries, submissions and the hundreds of other things that go with the author journey.
That isn't A to B either.
There is a whole world of perseverance, re-writes, edits and more queries before we reach our agent destination. Or, Agent Avenue as I have named it. :)
Then the journey begins a new path...Publication Road.
So why do we do it? Because, in a way, we know the destination is at the end but the journey can take as many paths as you are willing to walk to reach Bookshelf City.
And, maybe even, re-evaluate our expectations occasionally to get there. :)