Read Great Expectations by Charles Dickens and you will find yourself engaged with a cast of characters who seem to border on absurdity and extreme reality. The characters within the classic story fall somewhere between fictional and almost too close to reality if you have ever been in love or fallen prey to the ways and whims of scams, scandal or unscrupulous folks. That's how Dickens played it out over a century ago.
Think on your career as a writer. Whether you are a novelist or poet, journalist or columnist, you need to get real about your expectations. In Great Expectations, the title gives us a hint of the untimely letdowns that life can dump upon a person. Compare that to a writer's life of rejection notices and revisions. Get real with yourself. Start adjusting your expectations. Don't keep considering yourself a failure because you are not meeting your expectations or those of others.
Remain confident in yourself. Simply make an adjustment. Adjust your expectations to be more in line with reality.
Many print publications are folding. What does that mean for some writers? How about fewer assignments or cutbacks from $.10 per word to $.05 per word (maybe less)? That means that you need to make an adjustment due to the reality of the market. Make the adjustment and keep your expectations in line with reality.
Failing to adjust your expectations can be devastating. Your plans get thrown off and your accounts become out of balance. You begin to doubt if you should be doing this writing thing at all.
You don't have to read Great Expectations to understand the concept. Take a realistic look at the landscape of the market. See the recent trends within the industry. Once you have the data, analyze and adjust.
Make your adjustments to your expectations and, most of all, keep on writing.