“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson
I am not a patient woman. This, I believe, is one of the hurdles I have been given to overcome.
When I was very young, I wanted to learn to read. My mother, fearing that if she taught me I would be bored when I started school, refused to teach me. Instead, she promised that I would learn this treasured skill from my teacher. After my first day of school, I came home and complained irritably that the teacher hadn’t taught me to read yet.
When I became a Christian, one of the first things my fellow believers told me was to never pray for patience. Apparently, asking for patience is the same as asking for tribulation – see Job for more details on that. Since I didn’t want to lose everything and suffer from one heck of a case of the shingles, I took their advice.
I have learned the most patience since choosing to pursue a career as a writer. For me, writing novels is similar to nature’s seasons:
Spring = A new idea sprouts, along with a number of weeds (weak or bad ideas).
Summer = I carefully nurture the good idea, growing it a little each day. I let the weeds grow alongside; I don’t want to disturb the growth of the flourishing idea.
Autumn = I harvest my idea, which has grown into a novel. I sift through the novel to be sure I’ve removed as many weeds as I can see, casting the weeds into the “delete” bin, before sending it off to market – or in this case, Inknbeans Press.
Winter = I allow myself a fallow season. During that time, I plant as many seeds as I can and wait for the next new idea to sprout.
Though I may never master patience, I have at least learned to take life and my work in stride. For a little girl who couldn’t wait to learn to read, that’s progress.