Thursday, April 1, 2010

If patience was a cocktail, it'd be two parts tequila, one part lime.

I don't think anyone is born with it, but some of us are definitely better at being patient than others. Patience is a virtue that extends far beyond the publishing industry, and yet I feel writers are forced to practice patience far more than most.

I'd like to believe that practicing patience gets easier the further down the publishing path you travel, but I'm not sure that's true (I'll have to let you know).

Seeing patience is as integral to writing as editing is, how do you practice it?

Here's a couple tips I've adapted to help me:

1.Don't check your email after 7:30 p.m. You can let an agent, writer, editor, critique partner, ect. wait twelve hours to hear back from you. There's more to life than electronic correspondence. As much as I think living in the nineteenth century would annoy me, the thought of waiting weeks between correspondence excites me. Handwritten letters with wax seals, horse-drawn deliveries, and precious moments of solitude to respond sound perfectly wonderful.

2. Believe in yourself. So you haven't heard a peep from the last batch of query letters you sent out, that's okay. Go back to writing. That's the part you love anyway, right? Remember that you have awesome stories to tell--unique one-of-a-kind tales that have spun your imagination and heart more ways than you really know. While you wait, write. You never know what work of yours will sell.

3. Read. A good book always makes me want to write and reminds me that if this author could did it, so can I. You're anything but alone on your journey to publication. Draw your patience from others.

4. If all else fails, have a cocktail (or two). An inebriated mind doesn't mind waiting as long as the cocktails are cold and the company is good. Oh happy day!

16 comments:

Valerie Geary said...

Ahhh... thank you Stephanie. I needed this today. :D

The Alliterative Allomorph said...

Oh my goodness I am so so guilty of your first tip. I check my email like a maniac cause I get most of them in the later part of the day, due to the time difference. Perhaps I should turn my computer off completely and pretend it isn't there. ...

Bane of Anubis said...

Great tips, particularly # 4

Steph Damore said...

Happy to help, Valerie.

Steph Damore said...

I hear ya, Alliterative. It's even worse for me because I can check email on my phone too. It's so easy to hit the little mail icon. Must. Put. Phone. Down.

Steph Damore said...

Bane--4's my favorite. Thought you'd like it too.

J.J. Bennett said...

I'm a bit coconut rum... (Why's the rum gone?)

If it helps, I wish I was where you are... ;)

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Yes! Great post. My favorite is #4! :-)

Steph Damore said...

Jen--Ooh, coconut rum! I'll cheers to that! Add a little pineapple juice and call it breakfast.

Steph Damore said...

Thanks Shannon! Number 4 is popular.

J.J. Bennett said...

Cheers!

Voidwalker said...

LOL, in the end turn to alcohol. Funny stuff!

Good insight. I definitely have a problem with patience, but my 5 kiddos are ironing out that little issue with me EVERY DAY! hehe. :)

Tahereh said...

LOL.

great post!!

A misinterpreted wave said...

Fantastic post. I need to remind myself of #1 constantly.

Nothing looks more desperate than an email after 10.00pm, especially a work one.

Commenting on blogs doesn't count though, surely? ;P

Lisa and Laura said...

These are fantastic tips. I'm not sure I could do the 7:30 email thing because I work mainly at night, but I should seriously try it for a chunk of time during the day. It sounds empowering.

Steph Damore said...

Chris, of course commenting on blogs doesn't count! That should actually be tip #5!!!

L&L, yeah, when I work full-time I write at night, but lately I've been a mid-morning kinda gal. It's definitely empowering to ignore the email, even if it's only for a couple hours. I dare you to try it :)