great expectations…or not

I’ve had blog block. Not writer’s block. I am writing, working on several fiction projects and few other oddments, albeit not as frequently or in as satisfying quantities as I would like, but not entirely stalled. However, this blog, which was, in its earliest stages, the one guaranteed source of creative flow for me, has been at a deplorable standstill for exactly a month. My last post was December 20th, today is January 20th, and I refuse to be stuck any longer (can you hear the battle cry – “I shall post by midnight”?). What I think has happened is this – around the time of my last post I let more people know about the blog, and began to get charmingly positive feedback. Lovely, and much appreciated, except…I have a bit of a complicated history with charmingly positive feedback: my pattern, in part, is to revel in it, then distrust it, then interpret it as implying an expectation. And I don’t tend to create well under a cloud of expectation. I like to surprise – mostly I like to surprise myself, to see what I can do that I might not have thought I could do before, but as an extension of that, I like to surprise others. I tend to feel debilitatingly trapped by expectation, and it is a quirk of my character that I often translate encouragement as expectation. I don’t generally like talking about or showing work in progress (whether a manuscript, a dinner, a painting…); I like the “ta-da” factor of more finished product. I like achieving something (i.e. creating something) better than, different from, or, best of all, completely outside expectation. And so I stall in proximity to expectation. So, comment if you will, praise or damn as you like, but, if at all possible, expect nothing, but if you must, expect the unexpected.

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