Friday, July 16, 2010

Patience

Everywhere I turn it seems people have lost a virtue...no not their virtue, but patience. Maybe it's the heat, maybe it's because it's Friday, but something has been in the air. Case in point...the whole line of traffic doing three point turns and u-ies in the middle of the road today! All because they didn't want to wait their turn. Each became more furious, like a tidal wave of ire. I sat there, hands on the wheel, waiting to get hit as they whipped their vehicles about frantically, and shook my head.

Patience I have (as well as a curious nature to find out what all the hubbub was about!) or at least that's what I've been told. I don't lose my cool often, unless the pressure builds to where I can't see anything but red. Lately even I've been tested....partially due to the near 100 degree temps.

Though I should be well versed in waiting and remaining calm as a writer who's been "in the business" for nine years now. As a writer or reader (aka fan) you know how long it can take for an author to make it through the slush, then wait for "the" call or that other letter, much less getting that contracted book to print. Authors should all have a self help group to teach patience for the "hurry up and wait" syndrome. Though most of us move on to other projects or take rests to refill the well to write again...there are days where we need a little 12 step mantra to click through as a reminder. Though I suppose naming a WIPs heroine Patience could be reminder enough until it's time to make the final decision to keep that name or replace it with something else.

The craft itself is a test in patience as we skillfully craft each word to make the settings, characters and plots the best! Generally this doesn't come together on the first pass, and most end up revising three times...even among accepted works to please an editor or agent. Which means chipping away at the grinding task day after day, month after month, and year after year. Seeing that novel in print (or promo about it)...well that's the testament for any and all of the sorrows when we lamented for patience and perseverance.

If I hadn't learned both virtues by now, then my current status is lending itself as fodder for my next article. The topic? Feats or failure....winning and/or losing...endings, happy and otherwise...reaching too far or too high. In effect, an essay on using patience, by taking a step back and looking at the big picture on where I've been, what I've done, and where I see myself going...after the proverbial picking myself off and dusting myself off of course!

Hmm...maybe this calls for a new pair of rose tinted shades. Or at the very least a satisfying glass of tropical punch to chill myself out.

What's got your patience stretched thin? Or how do you handle the strain--massage, venting, tv marathons?


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