Success only flourishes in perseverance -- ceaseless, restless perseverance.
--Baron Manfred Von Richtofen

Friday, August 12, 2011

Qualities of a Writer Part V: Patience


pa·tience[ pey-shuhns] noun 1. the quality of being patient,  as the bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation, or the like. 2. an ability or willingness to suppress restlessness or annoyance when confronted with delay: 3. quiet, steady perseverance; even-tempered care; diligence:

Some qualities we are born with, like creativity and curiosity. Some we can nurture like enthusiasm and courage. And others must be developed like it or not. Like patience.

Most of us are not born with patience. At least I know I wasn't. I don't know if I even qualify as patient now after many years of patience-building experiences. But if you want to be a writer, patience is something you'll have to work on.

Take a look at definition #1. the quality of being patient,  as the bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation, or the like. It takes that kind of patience to deal with rejections, criticism, bad reviews, doubters, lack of support, setbacks, etc. etc.

Look at definition #2. an ability or willingness to suppress restlessness or annoyance when confronted with delay: It takes that kind of patience to deal with submitting and waiting FOREVER for a response. Or getting an acceptance and still waiting FOREVER for actual publication. Waiting for beta readers to get back to you, waiting for time to write. Waiting, waiting, waiting. You know what I mean.


What about definition #3? quiet, steady perseverance; even-tempered care; diligence: It takes that kind of patience to finish a manuscript. To revise it. And revise it again. And again. To submit it. And submit it again. And again. Writing a great book takes time. Publishing it takes time (yes, even if you self-publish it).

Patience may not be the easiest or most fun quality to develop, but it is one of the most important.

How have you developed patience? Any tips for the endless waiting game?

13 comments:

Larry and Cindy said...

Great Post, I can say, as you did, you were not born with patience. I've watched with you become a wonderful daughter, mother, and writer. With patience comes wisdom,with wisdom comes the power to move forward, and going forward is life. Your MOM and I love watching the kids and grandkids live life and move forward so well. POP

Terry W. Ervin II said...

Patience is a requirement for my career as a teacher, so I already had it when I decided to begin writing.

Everyone has to develop their skills and strengths as best they can while moving forward. Patience, like you've indicated, is a necessary one for a writer.

Rochelle said...

Patience is definitely something I'm still working on. Most of the time, I'm impatient with myself. When I write, I get impatient if the words don't come out the way I want them to, if the next thought or lead to a new idea don't pop into my head the minute I want them to. Once the project is done, I'm much better at patiently awaiting the results.

Adam Meyers said...

To me the biggest display of patience is learning to continue quietly writing, day in and day out, knowing the payoff might take many years. Patience is what we have when the continue the journey even when obstacles obscure the road and the end is never really in sight.

tiffany said...

i thought i had alot tons of patience as a teenager the older i get the less patient i am

my job pretty much requires patience with the sick confussed elderly sadly i struggle really bad with not haveing enough patience with them today was trying for me with 3 out of the 5 people i had assighned to me were crazy and co-workers were on my last nerve i like to think haveing time to myself wih out talking or being around anyone helps me be better with haveing patients with everyone

Melanie Goldmund said...

I often find myself snapping at my husband, "If I wanted patience, I'd be a hospital!"

So, um, no, I don't have any. And my only tip for playing the waiting game is to distract myself from what I'm waiting for, usually by doing something else. I have ADD, so I'm really good at distractions. If I were waiting for a response, for instance, I'd start writing something new. For something more short term, I usually find a book to read, or (rarely) some household task to do. Or some chocolate to eat. Yum, chocolate! *chomp chomp chomp* What were we talking about again?

Angie said...

Thanks, Dad. I love you!

Terry, I can see how a teacher would need patience. Good for you!

Rochelle, I get impatient at those things too!

Adam, you're so right about that! Thanks for stopping by.

Tiff, I think you are amazingly patient to do your job.

Melanie, distractions are good. Very good!

Thank you all so much for stopping by!

Elizabeth Mueller said...

Oh, the nerves! First, what makes the jump-to-your-email-box-at-every-second-you-get, I just LOVE the touch phone with the email alert option. How it saves on sanity!

♥.•*¨Elizabeth¨*•.♥
Can Alex save Winter from the darkness that hunts her?
YA Paranormal Romance, Darkspell coming fall of 2011!

ali said...

I have, out of necessity, developed patience. However, I also think there comes the time, in certain circumstances, where you need to take matters into your own hands.

You are always so wise!

dellgirl said...

Very nice post and, I love the comments too. I had lots of patience as a young woman, used it all up. The older I get, the less patient I am (with certain things). It's okay though...I paid my dues to get here.

Angie said...

Yeah, I think I'll use mine all up eventually too. Thanks, Dellgirl!

Tyrean Martinson said...

Patience . . . hmmm, I'm working on it slowly, like my novel. Slow, but steady growth . . . patience with learning patience seems to be where I'm at with life and writing at the moment.

Angie said...

I think slow, but steady growth is the key, Tyrean. Thanks so much for stopping by!