There’s nothing I hate more than being patient. All the other virtues seem like a breeze in comparison to just shutting up and sitting tight. Self reliance? Hell yeah – easy peasy. Justice? Yep, we all want that so I’ll happily fight for it. Compassion? I like to think I have that one down. Courage? Certainly one worth trying to increase. But patience? Yuck!
I rarely wear makeup or style my hair, purely because I don’t have the patience to sit and do it in the morning. I don’t have the tolerance to sit through movies I’m not enjoying and I don’t have the persistence to wait quietly for buses so end up walking half the time. I guess I’m just short on patience. Shame it’s such an essential quality for the aspiring writer then huh?
From the submissions where you know you’re winging a story away only to kiss it good bye for up to six months (whether it’s successful or not) to the long, long waits between securing publication and seeing something in print, the literary world isn’t one that speeds along. And there’s really no alternative to grinning and bearing the waiting around.
Then there’s all the patience needed for the work itself, especially for longer pieces that may need to be reworked and re-jigged so many times that they barely seem to resemble the idea that once poured out of you so quickly. You also have to watch out for the bits that come screaming from your fingers begging to be read straight away, don’t give into the need for immediacy – let them breath a little while before sharing them – that’s what I keep reminding myself anyway.