JR Standfield

JR Standfield's BLOG
WRITING TAKES PATIENCE

Writing takes more patience than most would expect or a non-writer would believe.

 

Why?

 

First, you need to be patient with your own idea. The blinding light shown on you when you had the idea dims quickly as the words start to hit the page. I have never, ever been able to fully tell it the way I thought it. Maybe that’s my failing as a writer or as some would say my lack of talent, but I think it’s fairly common. The patience part comes in when you realize the idea just doesn’t read the way you had momentarily thought it. But we have the great secret of writing that we don’t much tell anyone. We don’t have to show it to anyone till we’re satisfied. And how do we get satisfied, we revise, and revise again and maybe several times till the words on the page come as close as possible to that moment of inspiration we had. Patience to go through it multiple times. Patience to let it sit — sometimes for years — until the words fit the idea.

 

Second, you need to have patience with the work itself. Each writing project is a chance to learn something new about the craft. No one on the planet wakes up one morning and says that today I have learned everything there is about writing and just need now to do it… That just doesn’t happen and never will…

 

Third, you need to have patience to let your mind wonder and relax. Time is expended for a writer unpredictably. Often it burns quickly and at others smolders in wait. The problem for a writer is never quite knowing when to let time burn away with creation or let it smolder to rejuvenate or clarify.

 

Forth, you need patience to have someone read it for the first time. Finding a reader who will give you the honest, sometimes torturous, advice we need is often difficult and we need to listen to all advice, even if we then choose not to use it.

 

Fifth, patience takes emotional intelligence. Being able to compartmentalize is a writer’s friend. To concentrate on the idea to the exclusion of the house burning down around you. Be patient and learn to relax in your ability to compartmentalize.

 

Sixth, you need to have patience if you expect to be published. The world or publishing is changing as I write this. Have patience to find the publishing path best for you. The number of paths seems to be growing each year. Have patience to walk the path you choose, not run, to get to your goal.

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