Paralysis Part II: Patience
Maybe I should title this part of the series “impatience.” You see, I have this burning desire to make everything happen all at once and when I can’t, I’m quickly consumed by the frustration at not being able to achieve the impossible. It might shock you to learn that I can’t snap my fingers and have a story idea leap onto the page as a finished work. I can’t point at a manuscript and command it to be final. I might have the hair of an Olyimpian, but last I checked, I can’t fling lightning bolts from my arse or vaporize a Titan (I don’t think). What if I had that kind of mojo? I’m sure it would lead to a whole new world of frustration, so I’m not going to speculate further.
I am a fan of instant gratification–how could any one not be? That’s why I love making music–I get a flash of inspiration and ten minutes later, I have a completed song. Prose not only takes discipline (something I’ll get to in a future post) but patience. There’s something to be said for that journey–a lot is gained on the path to creating a finished story or book. That is all very sweet and it makes me want to hug my neighbor. I’ll tell you this. The journey easily becomes a desolate stretch of road, the destination coming no closer, when faced with daily emails wondering about when the next piece of fiction will drop and having no good answer or while watching idly as peers put out new material every other day (or so some day it seems).
When did any of that start to matter? At some point, it didn’t even exist.
The privilege to be able to take my time, to use these moments to get something right, should not be undervalued. Writing didn’t feel like work when I wrote, edited, and rewrote Crescent. My only expectation was to tell the story I wanted to tell the way I wanted to tell it. If I can get back to that pure place, I just might get back on track. I need to set some reasonable goals and then get down to the business of enjoying myself.
(Photo by Offbeat Photography)