How many of us have said ourselves or heard someone say, “I’m not getting my hopes up.” I used to say this a lot. Now I don’t. Now I ask, “Why not?” and I say “I’m getting my hopes up.” Here’s why.
What fascinates me about this phenomenon is that it’s meant to protect us from disappointment.
But does it work? Are we really not disappointed when we get a pass on a query or submission? Even optimistic me has about two minutes of disappointment before I move on. So, really, what’s the point?
Let’s use the example of sending a query or submitting a manuscript to an editor or agent. Here’s why I get my hopes up.
- I’m already getting my hopes up, no matter what I tell anyone. I worked hard on that manuscript and my agent and I have discussed the submission list carefully based on who we think is a good fit. If I didn’t have an agent, I would have done careful research to develop the same list. I’m hopeful. I’m excited!
- I’m a submission excitement junkie. 🙂 When a manuscript first goes out, before anyone has responded, I love feeling that excitement and anticipation. Maybe someone will love it right away. Maybe two someones will love it and they’ll be a bidding war. Right now anything is possible and I ride that feeling as far as I can!
- I believe in sending positive mojo with my submission. I want to give my submission every chance of success, including sending it out with all the excitement and satisfaction I had while writing it so when it goes, it goes with all of my excitement and anticipation of a positive result.
- I’m fine saying I got a pass. Writers who’ve been in the game know this is part of the process. It’s a business. I’m not going to always get a yes. For me there’s no embarrassment if I got all pumped up about a submission and then no one bites. I learn what I can and move on.
It seems to me that this “Don’t get your hopes up” thing actually could result in two negative experiences–the first, working hard at not getting our hopes up and the second, dealing with a pass if it comes our way. So why not make the first one a positive experience?
If we trust ourselves to be able to handle a pass if we get one, then I say, Get your hopes up initially. Way up!
P.S. I write about this in my Believe You are a Writer e-book, free if you subscribe to my Blab-o-Tips 🙂
Great advice, Denise, thank you!
Thanks, Karin! My other step is looking at any perceived “bad” news as an opportunity–to learn, to shift gears, etc. Continuing to let go…not always easy, but it sure makes life easier when I can!
Thanks, Denise! After a big disappointment a few years back I too decided it would be easier not to get my hopes up, but it hasn’t made me any happier. I really needed this! Here’s to mo’ in my mojo!
Julie, thank you so much for sharing your experience and observation. That’s awesome! I’m so happy it was timely for you. xo