A few short lessons on impatience

I want, I want, I want. I am of the instant gratification generation. All of my desires have a postscript: as soon as possible please. I don’t want to wait until I get home, I don’t want to put it off until the weekend, I don’t even want to look forward to it, I’d much rather have it all now.

Not a good mind set for an aspiring writer. Of all of the things the writing life is, it isn’t speedy. Writing takes time, getting writing until it’s somewhere near publishing takes even more, and getting it out there, yup , you guessed it, takes more still.

I’ve made (uneasy) peace with the process, but there’s one place my impatience is always waiting to trip me up: submissions. I’m constantly trying to fire things out there before they’re ready, even when I know they need one final going over with a fine tooth comb.

In an effort to remind myself to reconsider, I’ve compiled a short list of the things impatience has rewarded me with over the years:

  • Watery coffee – plunging a plunger prematurely.
  • A spoiled story – flicking forward to check the main character doesn’t die.
  • Indelible, online spelling mistake – hitting publish without thinking.
  • Blisters on heels – embarking on night out in un-broken in shoes.
  • A cold half hour walking back to the right bus stop – taking first bus instead of the right one.
  • Red cheeks and no job – submitting application before double checking job

And many hundreds more. You got any?

8 thoughts on “A few short lessons on impatience

  1. Spelling mistake – check, watery coffee – check, red cheeks – check…I also once sent a furious email to a lecturer regarding their comments on one of my assignments. To my chagrin, I realized that I had misread the comments and that my lecturer was in fact being pretty reasonable. Oops! Lesson learned!


  2. I get annoyed waiting for buses too, and sometimes just walk instead, even if it’s miles down a motorway, several buses pass and it ends up taking an hour longer than if I’d just waited a bit. But I need things to be on my own (stupid) terms.

    Also, opening and eating all the cocktail sausages, picnic eggs or other savoury treats on the way home from the supermarket because I can’t wait and I am six.

    The greatest test of my patience is having to shave at least every three days, or risk agonising pain when it’s left any longer. You women are lucky, you have nothing comparable!


    • Oh I totally do the buses thing too. It inevitably starts raining too. I don’t think the second one counts, as eating all the sausages is surely a win-win situation. And as for the third point Dave, imagine the same thing but in your armpits – we do know how you suffer!


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