Lets consider the wrasse. This happens to be a saddle wrasse. He is patrolling the waters, looking for food.
If a diver overturns a rock and exposes a nest of writhing brittle stars, he's an opportunist and eagerly takes advantage.
With an intent expression he circles divers. Watching. Waiting.
Does he hope you will push over a rock and give him an easy meal?
Does he expect it?
It doesn't much matter because the wrasse is primed and ready to take advantage of any opportunity.
A hand that topples coral rubble. A fin that displaces tasty invertebrates.
And that's really the key isn't it?
And being ready.
Being very very ready.
2:30 pm and 79 degrees.
"Did you expect this? I mean you must have known right?"
This is what people ask me. I have to think. Probe the recesses of my mind.
I have to be honest here.
I didn't expect it.
I didn't expect anything but I hoped.
Hope versus expectation.
I've been thinking about this a lot. Did I expect what has happened so far?
Did I hope it would happen?
Am I successful yet?
If my only goal was to get an agent then I suppose so. If I wanted my book sold, then yes I have achieved my goal.
If I want my book to be bought and enjoyed by readers, however, I have to continue to hope.
Expectations are tricky things. They create disappointment and arrogance. They can lead to dissatisfaction and a hard bitter focus away from being able to write at your best.
I did not set out to write commercial fiction. I did not analyze or plan or study. I had a story in my heart that had to be written. I had characters in my head that clamored to be given life. I had passion.
When it came to finding an agent, I was business-like. That is when I used my rational sense of purpose and ambition.
But the writing?
That came from my soul.
And I am humble.
Expectations and arrogance.
Those get you into trouble each and every time.
But gratification and hope?
Well they are my mantra. Like the wrasse. I am ever watchful for opportunity.