Impatience is Not a Virtue

I may have a problem.

For Christmas, my parents gave me an insanely generous gift: a $100 gift card for my comic shop.

Guess what I’m planning to do later today?

Last night I was going through what I want to get. The shop is running a sale for the next week, and I’m eager to take advantage of it. I could complete my Mike Grell Green Arrow run. I could pick up some Thor. Maybe I should get some more Batman or Wonder Woman? Oh, I could grab some Star Wars!

OK, I definitely have a problem. Decision paralysis is setting in, and I’m not even there yet!

But that’s not the problem I’m writing about today. See, I got this gift card, and though I have a week to spend it before the sale ends at my shop, I want to go today to spend it.

Patience is not my strong suit.

This problem extends to my writing.

Last week I wrote out a rough draft of a story involving a man who kills gods for a living. I thought it was nifty. I did one quick revision and sent it out to some beta readers to make sure it made sense. It did. I revised it again.

And then I was too impatient. I submitted it to a publisher.

It probably needed another revision or two. Every time I go through, I tend to find more ways to tighten up the story, reveal characters in more potent ways, or just a few more typos. But I didn’t want to do that work. I wanted to submit it right away because I was excited about that story!

There are times in the writing life a person needs to hurry. Notice, please, I am not saying that there’s ever an excuse to be sloppy or lazy. But yes, sometimes a person needs to rush. Perhaps a call for submissions closes soon. Perhaps you have only fifteen minutes a day, and you need to use those minutes to their fullest. These things happen!

At the same time, writing often calls for patience. Allowing a story to develop takes some time. Polishing that story takes effort. Finding the right market isn’t usually something that happens in five minutes. And all of that takes patience.

Thankfully, in the initial writing stages I usually have patience in abundance. I usually take time to find the right market. Initial polishing? No problem. But that finer polishing to make it all shiny? It’s something I have to force myself to do. Often enough it does get done.

Sigh. Writing is work, and that means it’s not always fun. My patience wears thin.

It’s something to work on in 2021, I guess.

Published by Jon

I'm a pastor in Wisconsin. Constantly writing, whether it be fiction or sermons or anything in between. Husband and father. Over all this, Christian, willing and joyful servant to good master Jesus.

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