Those are pretty reasonable expectations. And they all hold true. The things I DIDN'T know could fill a book, however. And you know how I like to keep my posts relatively short, so let me try to summarize:
- The Interaction. I never would have dreamed of being able to communicate with others not only in my position, but real authors - ones I enjoyed reading! And then there are the agents and editors that so generously give of their time on Twitter and blogs, even workshops. What other industry has such an open and sharing network of kind and like-minded people at your disposal?
- The Reaction of Family and Friends. I figured my family would be supportive (they better be). But extended family? Friends? I held back on telling people for a long time. Then came my first publication. A short children's poem called "Ode To Mud" in Stories For Children magazine. Suddenly I had enough confidence to whisper to a few people what I was doing... And wow! I'm lucky to have such supportive people in my life. I believe there was only one person who looked at me like, oh no, you think you can write? I still hesitate when others ask what I do, but I've trained myself to say "I'm a writer." Because I am. Of course I now have my fair share of people asking me to proofread their reports and things. But I don't mind.
- The Depth of Learning Involved. I joked with my husband recently that I probably have the equivalent of a self-taught Masters degree. But really, it's probably true. I'm not putting down anyone's graduate program, I'm just saying, I've put so much effort into studying craft over the last few years that I'm amazed at the amount of information swimming in my head. I love that part of it though! And I look forward to continuing my education.
- The Emotional Rollercoaster. I was an actress for a time, so I'm no stranger to the whole expect rejection thing. But this is different. For one thing, it takes more time to get that rejection, which is probably what I personally have had the hardest time with. On an audition, you know pretty quickly whether you made it to callbacks or not. But wow, when you DO get an acceptance? Or a good review? I'll take a smattering of those soaring feelings in exchange for all the waiting any day.
- The Friendships. I've made some of the best friends of my life doing this. They really "get" me and I get them. I wouldn't trade that for anything in the world. It might sound sappy, but it's true! You know who you are.
I could go on, but I promised to try and keep it short. What did you never expect when you started writing? Share!