Listen. Think. Speak. Write.

Friday, March 16, 2012


Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world. 

Yes, I am a dreamer, and I can totally see myself in Tubman's quotation.  Strength and passion might as well be my hyphenated middle name. Here I go off to change the world. Wait. There was something else?  Patience.  Oh crud. Me and patience?  No so much.

I'm sure there are dreamers who are good at that waiting thing, but I'm not one of them.  I'm more likely to attack the situation.  I also tend to want pretty fast results, and if they don't come, I may get bored and move on.  I realize it's a fundamental flaw.

This morning Elana Johnson's blog that talked about failure, and one of the things she said in failure we learn our weaknesses.  I loved that sentiment.  I tend to think I'm pretty good about figuring out my weaknesses but my lack of patience means I usually either barrel through them or find ways around them rather than taking the time to fix them. (No, I'm not just talking about writing.)A friend of mine began to query her novel.  The requests poured in.  I believe she ended up with a forty percent rate of request for her manuscript.  The agents commented on the strength of her writing.  I might have taken that as a sign to mass mail my query to every agent in the querytracker database, but she did not.  In fact, she stopped querying altogether so she could embark on a substantial revision she believes will make the book better.  Yes, she wants to publish, but she has the patience to wait until her novel is exactly where it needs to be.

Here's an example.

When I started querying my first novel, I believed it was ready.  I'd spent a year writing and editing it.  Two different writing groups and several pre-readers had provided me invaluable feedback.   If I'm honest with myself, I knew earlier in the process than I ever admitted to myself or anyone else that it needed a major overhaul.  I just didn't know how at the time.  And my impatience got the best of me.

So, when inspiration finally hit, a part of me, the not-so-patient part, said, "This revision is a waste of time.  It's too late."  It very well may be, BUT I did the revisions anyway. Regardless of whatever the outcome may be, I'm proud that I stopped pushing forward.

I found the patience to learn, or I learned to find patience. Whichever.

Have you had to learn the patience lesson the hard way?

1 comment:

  1. Oh the waiting. If you're not patient as a writer you have to learn to be in order to survive. Great quote and I love the comic too.