If this winter has taught us anything, it’s that in life we serve ourselves best if we engage in patience.
It’s April, long-awaited spring is upon us, and then another snowstorm hits the Mid-Northeast and pounds rain upon many other regions of the US. We are tired of winter, want spring so much our bones ache, yet we have no choice but wait for Mother Nature to do her thing.
So to endure the situation without elevating our blood pressure, we occupy ourselves with other things, like writing, and wait for the weather to change.
The same type of patience is needed when writing.
Writers are often their own worst enemy. We berate ourselves when we skip a day of writing, or when we don’t meet our desired word count. We call ourselves stupid, worthless, and fake. We second guess our storylines, we wonder if our characters are flat, we worry about the endings . . .
The list of all the self-doubt and sabotage we do over and over again is crazy. Even authors with the most output surely doubt themselves from time to time. I believe it is part of the creative process. We see something in our mind, and the work will never match the perfection of our vision. If it happens it’s rare.
I’m reminded of the game “telephone” the message is repeatedly whispered from one person to another, and by the time the last person receives the message and states it aloud, some of the words are wrong. Sometimes the message is completely changed.
The same thing happens with our creative endeavor. Our mind visualizes the finished product but in the translation between mind and pen. Some aspects are lost, changed, and in some cases may even be perfected. Still, it’s not what we had envisioned, so we chastise ourselves for not delivering the pristine message.
So, if this can happen even between your own vision and your own work, imagine what happens when you publish using many other people in between like editors, designers, and publicists. The best advise I can offer, the same mantra I tell myself (yes, I often talk to myself) is to be patient.
Patience is a great goal in every aspect of our lives: in marriage, child rearing, team projects and more. This is a learned skill like any other, and over time it becomes easier.
With that in mind, I hope that everyone writing today is patient with themselves, stick to it, and know in your heart that the end result will be worth it.
Keep Reading – Keep Writing!