Writing Tips~Patience

 

As we left for Orlando yesterday, we stopped at a red light. Here in the South we call all traffic lights red lights, but this one really did happen to be that color. A person on a motorcycle revved his engine repeatedly until the light changed. Did it make the wait shorter? No. did he waste gas? Yes.

When we got to downtown Orlando, we sat amazed when a car zoomed through a red light immediately before it changed to green. I’m sure he was in hurry or feeling anxious or mad, or something. Did he get where he was going faster? Maybe. I doubt it. When you are that heedless, you may not get there at all.

I have impulses too. Mostly it’s when I’m on the computer. If I were in less of a hurry and more careful I wouldn’t stress myself out nearly so much. I’ve been deciding for months that I want to hurry and finish my most recent novel quickly. In the mostly German community where I grew up the older people used to say, “The faster I go, the behinder I get.” That seems to apply to me, as well. I get nervous and overwhelmed and it spreads out from the computer to all the other rooms of my life. When I’m at the bathroom sink brushing my teeth I feel overwhelmed, or when I’m in the utility room ironing Bill’s shirts, I fret thinking I need to be doing my real work. I have a writer friend who once said, “The world waits for me, what am I doing cleaning toilets?”

When I started writing books, I said it wasn’t going to be this way. I was going to live, enjoy all the little nuances, and not rush through anything. But alas, now I’m trying to get finished so I can have a little vacation I’m planning. That would be a good reward for accomplishing what I set out to do. Alas, now that I have that deadline I feel worse than ever.

Do we know what all this rush and hurry stems from? Basically, for me, it’s fear. Did you know that the everyday ordinary child today has more fears than a psych patient in 1950? Just think how many more we may have accumulated over the years.

So, if I don’t get my book finished by the time of my own deadline, does that mean I’ll die or kill anyone? Nope. Does it mean I’ll go hungry or lose the respect of someone I love. No.

The Bible says we are but smoke; here today, gone tomorrow, and yet we think we have to rush around, make our mark, measure up. Then in the middle of all that…poof, she’s gone. I hope she had a good life. Oh, look at those pretty books she wrote.

I guess I’m saying that I really do love writing books. I love my characters, I love putting words together. I really enjoy working with others to make them the best they can be and get them off to market. But it’s possible that when I  rush, the quality of my work diminishes.. Writing books definitely has its place, but so does brushing teeth, and ironing shirts.

Paraphrasing 2 Timothy 1:7. I heard the Lord say: “DiVoran, I have not given you a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power and of love, and of a calm and well-balanced mind.” My answer:, “Okay, Lord I’ll slow down and receive it. Thanks.”

Keep Writing,

Love,

DiVoran

Patience

Photo by Melody Hendrix

 

Comments

  1. These comments are all so good, sweet, precious, encouraging. It’s so good to know I’m not the only one. Thank you for taking the time to write.

    I finished the last book of the Florida Springs Trilogy, Clear Spring, and sent it off to my editor and the cover to my graphic artist. I had promised myself an at home vacation and I started today. It’s lovely not putting pressure on myself, but I’m still doing pretty much all the same things I always do, so why can’t I just do them without the stress when I’m not on vacation? Good idea. I’ll try it again tomorrow. The one thing I can say was really different was walking slower on my walk. It may not be as healthyful, but it felt wonderful in the glorious Florida fall morning.

    Happy Writing
    Love, DiVoran

  2. I learned a long time ago that you have to let these things roll off your back… there will always be more to do, there will always be more work (no matter what form or shape it takes), so as Bob says above, learn to enjoy yourself in the midst of that journey and you’ve got something. Plus – look at the bright side: You are writing. You are doing something you planned to do… as a *writer* – even if you aren’t meeting your own expectations for when things are finished.. you have established a life for yourself that many never can or will… Be thankful, be patient, and keep working diligently. If you still are not achieving, then perhaps it warrants looking at your organizational skills. LOL!!! But in the meantime – as I always say – ENJOY EVERY MOMENT.

    • I liked your comment very much. You are right, the bottom line is that we are writing and what a joy and pleasure that we are actually being published one way or another. Thanks for reading and commenting.

  3. It’s so true… we spin our wheels often when we hurriedly, anxiously try to get to the end of something… Patience… Great post!

    • I’m trying read everything I write at least three times before I send, but alas I still forget. I did it with that sentence and rewrote it twice. It’s much better now. I’m grateful for your comments.

  4. Sometimes, okay, many times, it is better to not only stop and smell the roses, but to stand back and enjoy their beauty. I spent many years in the big city, having been raised in rural America. I retired back to my roots. I always figured I would live forever in the cement jungle but the slow, ambling life of the country called to me and I answered. And strangely, even here, at times, it appears there is a need for speed, a desire to get someplace fast or to finish first or whatever. In all our haste, it is as I discovered, always a hurry up and wait. So why not enjoy the journey and maybe the wait won’t be so long?

    • You are so right. What you are saying is my goal and hope too. One of the reasons I started wriiting my first novel was being in the subway in New York with all the harried people and feeling sorry that they had to live so much of their lives under ground. I wanted to bring them some beauty and nature. I agree that those are some things that add greatly to our peace.

  5. Cinta Garcia de la Rosa says:

    Patience is very important when writing, even more when you are editing. Great post!

    • Cinta, let me take this moment to tell you how very beautiful your whole name is. It’s like music. I had a very little bit of Spanish in high shcool and I can say it and it tickles me to do so. I went to Spain once. We vacationed in Toremelino and they took us to Morroco. It’s a lovely place. Thanks for your comment. Yes, there’s no rushing an edit or somebody just has to edit it again.

  6. Oh, patience… it is one of those things I personally need to work on. When I’m with my kids and I slow down at the yellow light and someone next to us blows by it and my kids look at me all askance, I tell them “you know, maybe he really needed to be somewhere, or maybe his wife was having a baby.” Or when we’re someplace and people cut in front of us, I tell my kids to remember that just because you can’t see problems people are having, it doesn’t mean they aren’t there – obviously that person has some deep seated need to do what they did. I try to practice tolerance more than patience and it’s definitely been helping – nice post!

    • You are very charitable and kind and you are teaching your children one of the most important lessons in life, to put yourself in another person’s shoes and try to undrstand them. I know they are good kids because they have a fine mother.

  7. Love this post! Writing takes patience, and sometimes the answer isn’t to hurry up and finish; would we then have the best product out there? It took 19 years to write my latest (although that wasn’t all writing), but when it was finally done, I was finally satisfied. I didn’t push it out and hope for the best. The reader expects polish, so we need to take our time and polish.

    Clive Barker once said: “”I think, as a writer, you learn to take in information and find the moment when it’s right to tell the story. That’s one of the reasons why I’m not one of those writers who predictably turns out a book a year; I’m not very good at that sort of thing. Even if I did turn out a book reasonably regularly, it wouldn’t be the book people would be expecting, anyway. Sometimes I find I need to allow myself to grow into the moment of writing the book.”

    Grow into the moment. 🙂

    • It certainly never hurts to let a piece of art or a novel hide for a while. We are different than we were when we come back to it, and we can see it all more clearly. We can also see where it’s good and go from there.

  8. I couldn’t agree with you more. Just today, I have to go back and rewrite a scene. I knew I had some cleaning and organizing to do in my home, so I rushed through my writing to get a few scenes completed. As I went back to do a quick read, I realized I was in such a hurry, I didn’t take the time to let my characters’ personalities shine through. Thanks for the reminder.

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