Patience is a virtue, but not one that comes easily to me. I know that I am impatient, not with other people, just with myself. I want to achieve everything yesterday. However, there is a positive side. My impatience has served me well in many ways as I am motivated to succeed, work hard, and I am very productive. Great attributes in the world of commerce where we are expected to go faster and faster. Not so good as a writer because creative work has to unfold in its own time, and we have no control over when and how our work will be received by the world.
Everything has a season. A beginning, a middle, and an end. And then a new beginning. When we live in the moment we treasure the beauty of each day, the changing colours of the landscape, and discovering new shoots in the flower bed. We are part of nature. There is a season for all that we achieve, and just as the flower bed goes through change, so do we.
It is good to have a goal. A vision for our future. However, when we are willing that future to happen before it is time, we can stunt our growth and slow down the process. This is because we are not allowing change to happen. We are not relaxing into the now and being mindful of the lessons that are there for us and the opportunities. Instead of growing, we are expending our energy thrashing against the unfairness of life. The result – what we want is pushed further away because we are not ready to receive it, without change.
Like most writers, my goal is and has been for many years to be a successful published author. I approached this goal as if it were a work project over which I had some control. I studied what I had to do, went through all the steps, submitted my manuscript to agents, got myself a first-class literary agent, and submitted to publishers. At every stage of this process I was impatient: Each time I sent a manuscript out to agents I counted the days until I received a response. When my agent was reviewing drafts, and when editors from publishing houses were considering our submission. It was hard. My health and well-being suffered. I felt out of control. As a management consultant used to working for myself I railed against this lack of autonomy and was overwhelmed by a feeling of helplessness.
I told the story of how I changed course, and decided to become an indie entrepreneur in my blogs Meditation challenge parts one, two, and three. The path I was following was not going to get me to where I wanted to be. Since deciding to take the self-publishing route I have had to learn new skills and try different things to market my novels. This is exactly where I need to be right now. I love that I have discovered blogging. By sharing my experience with other creatives, I have deepened my understanding and self-awareness. I write to connect with others in a meaningful way and I have found that blogging and other social media platforms such as Twitter have enabled me to do this in ways that I had not believed possible.
If my debut novel had been published last year through the traditional publishing route I would not have had that experience. My life is richer as a result. Now, I embrace what each new day has to offer. I honestly love everything about my working life as an author, and I know that I am growing and changing. Instead of worrying about the future, I am delighting in the small changes in my life, much like the gardener who enjoys watching the flower bed for new growth.
The creator of all things has sown a seed of desire in our hearts. We must pursue our dreams but recognise that for our dream to unfold it needs to be nurtured and given time to grow. Just as our creator sends the sun and rain to nourish the earth, we too will receive what we need. When the season is right we will enjoy our harvest but creation cannot be rushed. It is not easy to be patient when you are burning with desire, but creation as magnificent as you must be honoured with time, care, and above all patience. It will happen when the time is right.
3 thoughts on “Learning to be patient”
It can be hard to be patient when full of excitement and enthusiasm for a new project, but waiting for the right time pays dividends. I have material for at least two poetry collections but I won’t try to publish until the time is right.
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I am impatient to read them! Which means the waiting has increased my anticipation and excitement.
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Brilliant post, Deborah! Like you, I’m impatient but I also see the positive side to this. It pushes me to work harder and I channel that energy into my work/passions 🙂
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