Thursday, December 15, 2016

Let's Wait: In Praise of Patience by Kathy Halsey

If you know me, you know I'm an "all in" "let's do it it now" kind of gal. Yet, lately, I've had to practice patience. I'm waiting out my shingles virus. I'm waiting for kitchen/bathroom construction to be done. I'm waiting for calm so I can clear my head of distractions and write. I'm not good at waiting, yet 'tis the season. We wait for the holidays, for  sunlight, for solstice, for a change of seasons, for another year. 



As writers, sooner or later we will need the gift of patience and the fortitude to wait. We wait for submissions, we wait for an agent, we wait for a manuscript to ripen so we have fresh eyes. Today, I offer you some quotes and inspiration on this crucial skill. 

One of my favorite books while in college was SIDDARTHA by Herman Hesse. There was a time when I knew much of it by heart. I remembered that Siddartha could conquer obstacles by perfecting these skills: thinking, fasting, and waiting. 


“When someone is seeking,” said Siddartha, “It happens quite easily that he only sees the thing that he is seeking; that he is unable to find anything, unable to absorb anything, because he is only thinking of the thing he is seeking, because he has a goal, because he is obsessed with his goal. Seeking means: to have a goal; but finding means: to be free, to be receptive, to have no goal."
― Hermann HesseSiddhartha

To me, Hesse here is describing the writer's ultimate goal, publication. But if that is all we see, we may miss the fruits of the journey: friendships formed with other writers, connections that are established in the interim, finding our voice, and knowing our craft.



The brilliant Paul Coelho, a Brazilian lyricist and author of THE ALCHEMIST, another newer treasured book, said this: "Life was always a matter of waiting for the right moment to act."
Sometimes we jump too soon. Wait for four to six polished stories  before seeking your dream agent. Sit still with your story and see what rises to the top to find your theme. Research some more to find the riveting story in your nonfiction. 

Finally, here are a two posts about patience, waiting, and the writer's life:

Patience Is a Writer's Most Important Virtue - Jeff Goins

So I've Been Thinking - Janet Reid

What books, blogs, or quotes help you find patience as a writer? I am waiting for them in the comment section. 










28 comments:

  1. "Opportunity comes to the prepared mind," is a thought I carry around me. Perhaps another reader will remember the source. My take away is that I absorb a lot from reading, conversation, preparation & that helps me see an opportunity.

    I also have heard the publishing is not a business for those in a hurry. I have seen /heard that places.

    As a naturally longview gal, who likely frustrates her colleagues with how much time I am willing to wait for something to gel, for a piece to yet again be revised, I love the process of waiting.

    This is a lovely post, with a beautiful image to soothe us along this month that we often overload. Appreciations, Kathy! And good wishes with your shingles waiting-out. It can't be easy.

    LOVE, PEACE & JOY.

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    1. Jan, thank you for sharing your thoughts on how and why waiting is good. Peace and light to you.

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  2. And because I wasn't patient enough to let thoughts fully form before hitting "send," I have another post. I think it's important to be patient with oneself. It can be frustrating and agonizing to turn an idea into a ms., but those emotions can block creativity. Instead, be patient. The right idea and technique will come.

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    1. Jane, yes, yes. Each story require sits own type of patience and time to be revealed. TY for telling me more.

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  3. Great post. I remember reading Siddharta many years ago. Maybe I'll take another look. Yes, may we take our seasons of waiting and fill them with all good things. Each moment is full and complete, we just need to expand our awareness. Allow ourselves the time to notice our many blessings.

    Peace, love, and joy to you and yours 🌟





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    1. Stephanie, blessings to you this day, this season, and joy in the new year.

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  4. Very nice, Kathy! Even though I've been writing for publication since the early 90s, I still forget to just sit and wait sometimes. As the Master said in King Fu, "Patience, Grasshopper." I have to remember that.

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    1. Teresa, I am humbled you stopped by an cleft a comment. Yes, that's quite a good line, "Patience, Grasshopper."

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  5. “Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day.”
    ― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh
    When I look at my prior work in comparison to recent things, I see the growth and am thankful some of the earlier work wasn't published. Publishing is a slow business, and we can't change that, all we can change is our attitude about the waiting process.
    Have a wonderful holiday, special lady!

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    1. Wendy, blessings to you during this season, too. We grow as does our work with time and craft. BRAVO, you,

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  6. Great writing words and thoughts to put into practice. I am an "impatient" writer and this helps me remember to wait.

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    1. We need to support each other, then. Glad these words help.

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  7. So timely...so on target.....so hard to do. Thanks, Kathy, for being real and saying what many of us are thinking. It is a journey, and no one gets there on a magic carpet. It requires time and experience and maturity in our writing. Productive people practice peaceful patience.

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  8. Great post! Lately I've been following Jenny Patton's blog, Journaling with Jenny. She studies the positive effects of writing on health and provides a weekly writing prompt for readers. She began using writing prompts with her OSU students whom she found to be suffering from an inordinate amount of stress. Many reported that it helped them tremendously. Good stuff!

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    1. TY, Linda. I'll have to look at that blog!

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  9. Thanks for this, Kathy! Exactly what I have been struggling with these past few weeks. My main source of encouragement is from the Bible. The word 'trust' is much like 'patience'. So here is my contribution: Psalm 37:4-5 "Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act." I've discovered His timing is not the same as mine! ;-) Merry Christmas to you and yours!

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    1. Merry Christmas, Jarm. Trust is very akin to patience. Good verses to share, thank you.

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  10. Thank you, Kathy, for speaking about patience. One of my fav quotes is: "Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience." I find talking a walk soothes my frazzled impatient self. Prayers for the shingles to get well soon!

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    1. Charlotte, I really like your quote. Appreciate you sharing!

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  11. Great post, Kathy!

    Focus on the process, and the rest will take care of itself.

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  12. Keeping busy helps me be patient. Praying for you!

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    1. Tina, you have so much to look forward to. Ty for the prayers. I am doing better day by day.

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  13. Fitting that you wrote this post during Advent, which literally means 'waiting'. Merry Christmas, Kathy! Wishing you a fruitful new year! Liana

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