Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Writing Patiently


"Everything comes gradually and at its appointed hour."  
~ Ovid 


Easter Sunday, my six-year-old awoke excited and ready to see what wonderful delights filled his basket. But, alas, he remembered the rule that everyone goes to their basket (which waited at each child's seat at the kitchen table) at the same time. Because he naturally wakes earlier than my other children, he waited an hour. Despite what must have felt like an eternity to him, he remained excited and never complained.

My child reminded me of one very important tool I must have writing (and frankly life in general): patience. Patience to finish writing the current WIP all the while working full time and managing an ever growing household. But, most importantly, being patient while maintaining that excitement and wonder that is putting pen-to-paper and creating something your very own.

Do you have to remind yourself to be patient when it comes to writing? If so, what part of the process (finishing a WIP, editing, revisions, submissions, etc.) is the hardest part for you to maintain patience?

13 comments:

Lexi said...

I am NOT a patient person, and writing is a slow, painful business for me. The two are not a good combination, and so I fret and worry the whole time I am writing a manuscript. Arggh!

M.V.Freeman said...

Kat,
I love the image you wrote--about your son. (My daughter would've woken everyone up!)

But that is the hardest thing, patience as you navigate writing--getting the story down.

Right now, I have no patience, I want this story done, because I want to read it beginning to end! :D

Cari Hislop said...

I get frustrated at the very end because I usually have to rewrite it six times (in between banging my head on my desk), but the most agonising point is editing. This time it took me nearly six months of long days to get my latest book edited (it's nearly 138,000 words). I thought it would only take me a month and a half.
That was wishful thinking!

Ali Hubbard said...

I needed this blog. I consider myself a patient person in all areas of my life. I also plan things out, from tasks at my day job to our family activities. Ueber-organized. BUT, writing has completely reversed that for me.

I remember telling my beta reader I should have something for her within 2 months. At that time I had about 3000 words. I expected to have a completed, EDITED (i.e. sent to an editor, returned to me for editing, maybe another pass by a second professional editor with another round of edits) manuscript for her. HAHAHAHAHA. So much for planning because it turns out I'm a life planner and a writing pantser.

I feel like I'm learning patience all over again - it's all taking longer than I want. So, this is a timely blog for me. Reminds me to focus on the steps and the end will get here . . . just maybe not when I planned it.

Aidee Ladnier said...

This post definitely spoke to me. I have so much trouble with rewrites. My plot outlines keep my writing flowing and edits are fun and exciting because the process is getting close to the end, but if something needs major revision and has to be rewritten, it's like my creativity takes a nose-dive. I actively procrastinate rather than sit down and do it. Which probably explains why I have four novel first drafts and no submissions.

Kat Jones said...

Patience is definitely not always my friend either! So I completely understand. :-)

Kat Jones said...

Haha! He is a very sweet boy & very much a rule follower (most of the time anyway). ;)

I can completely relate - I am trying to remember that it takes time to put ideas onto paper and, even then, the process isn't complete.

Kat Jones said...

I am full of wishful thinking too! And my head often finds my desk! :)

But it sounds like you took your time and did what you felt needed to be done. That is awesome! :-)

Kat Jones said...

I feel much the same! I am very much a planner and, in the past, that has caused me to set some pretty unrealistic writing goals. When I failed to meet those goals, I was discouraged and sometimes shut down writing all together. So, in the end, I was being counterproductive. And, it wasn't any fun.

Now I am trying to simply do what I can, when I can. So not my typically approach to things. And, admittedly, sometimes frustrating. But, much more realistic for me at this point in my life. I just keep reminding myself that I will eventually complete this story, just maybe not as quickly as I'd like.

Kat Jones said...

I can relate! My first book still sits under my bed awaiting revision. I know it needs MAJOR revisions. Maybe my procrastination stems from the idea that revisions sound more like work, while creating the story from scratch is fun. ;)

So as not to make it seem like such a bear, I plan to work on those revisions one chapter at a time instead of being overwhelmed by thinking of revising a whole book.

Chris Bailey said...

Kat, thanks so much for staying on track while responding to a multitude of demands! I am not at all patient. Show me a shortcut and I'm on it! Alas, no shortcuts to a well-crafted story. Still, the writing life is a fantastic life. Thanks for the reminder!

Suzanne Johnson said...

Great reminder. My brother was like your child; he was up earlier than me. Except he'd wake me up and drag me to the table at 4 a.m. We'd scope everything out, then go back to bed. My parents could never figure out why we weren't more excited about holiday gifts and treats!

I also am not a patient person. I am a bit of a control freak. Publishing is SO not a business where you can control your own schedule.

Louisa Cornell said...

I can just see him sitting there patiently (or impatiently!) for everyone else to get up. He is SUCH a doll!

Writing is DEFINITELY a game of patience. It is awful when the entire story is in your head. You know the beginning. You know the end. You sort of know how you will get from one to the other, but the act of actually getting it on paper seems to take FOREVER!!

The key is not to give up and not to beat yourself up no matter how much time it takes. Forward motion is all you're going for. It is a lesson I had to learn the hard way. I discovered the more I beat myself up on the days I wrote little or nothing (or I let someone else beat me up for it) those days began to stretch into weeks and forward motion became sitting in a rut and believing I would never be a writer, never get published.

I try very hard now not to let negative thoughts or negative people live RENT FREE in my head.

I think we all learn to exercise patience with our children, our families, our jobs, rude people, rude customers and all sorts of other people and things. The hardest thing we must learn to do is to be patient with ourselves!

And on those days when I can't write or don't have time I still try to do one thing to keep myself in the writer frame of mind. I work on a timeline for my stories. I sketch out scenes. I jot down notes. I do research. I try to plan what goes into the story even if I don't know when I will get to putting it in. Every little thing I do towards creating my book I give myself credit for and it helps.