On Perseverance & Patience
My dad wrote an ahmazing post on patience and fitness. He’s a wellness coordinator, and his big motto is no gimmicks, only hard work and results (he’s tough but his clients appreciate it). In the post he says this,
If you have taken children on a road trip, you have probably heard them say “are we there yet.” I hear it a lot, not just from my children but also adults. Adults who are looking for quick results and don’t want to do the work.
He goes on to say:
“What’s your hurry…focus on enjoying the ride. Do the daily work; don’t worry about how long, because it will take as long as it takes.”
Now if that’s not advice that’s applicable to many areas of one’s life, I don’t know what is…
Yesterday, I read a post by the always hilarious Claire Legrand “On Creativity and Perseverance.” In it she has an analogy between being a writer and cooking that explains “all the feels” exactly. You’ll have to read the post, but here’s a snippet:
Meanwhile I grow hungrier and hungrier, and the people next door are chopping faster than I am, showing off their perfect golden-brown pie crusts when mine keep falling apart and I have to start over from scratch again and again…I’m happy for them, and yet I hurt too.
I did so much work last year, and so much of it is still cooking.
She goes on to say that it’s worth it. And, along with what my dad said, those are my messages to you (and myself).
It can take years to get where you want to. Beth Revis often speaks about how she wrote ten manuscripts, before she wrote the one that became a NYT Bestseller, Across the Universe. If you’re constantly asking yourself am I there yet, you’re not taking the time to work on your craft, to build yourself up as a writer. I once read a guest post by Tahereh Mafi in which she said each one of her trunked manuscripts taught her something about the writing process.
I hear all the time that once you’re published, you have less time to practice, to experiment with the art and craft of writing… people expect you to produce and not just your publisher but your readers. Best to learn how fast you can write a book, what you need to be happy as a writer, and so forth now. I’m not saying it’s going to be easy, remember I’m still learning and working on getting published, but I try to remind myself (often) that it’s best to use this time to meet other writers, support them, learn from them, and challenge myself (instead of sulking about what I don’t have/can’t control).
We’re the one part of this crazy industry we control, so enjoy the ride! Before you know it your time will be here 🙂
Oh, and here are the links to the posts I mentioned:
And if you still need more inspiration (heck, why not?) you can check out the Wrinspiration section of my “Writer Resources” page.