For those of us who are parents, this topic comes up more often than we would like. When my children were small, there are many times I remember saying, “I’ll be done with this in just a few minutes, and then I’ll come see your drawing,” or “Be patient please, dinner will be ready in five minutes.” It was hard for them to wait especially when they were excited. Why is that? Why is patience one of the hardest virtues to attain? I think the reason for part of that is the immediacy of today’s world. We can get on the Internet and have any question we want answered in very little time, and we don’t even have to be at home to do it. When children can’t see the adults in their life displaying patience, it is understandable they would not see patience as something important to learn.
Patience is important though to achieving goals that can’t happen immediately. A good example of this is the goal of improving health. Most people would consider this goal to have two components–exercising more and eating foods that are better for you which, in modern terminology, would be considered being on a diet. I prefer to use the term improving health, and I am about to start the eighth week of improving my own health. During this time, I have been conscious of how much better I have felt. I am eating less of certain things and more of others such as fruit and vegetables. In the last few weeks, I have started becoming aware of changes in my body that reflect this goal, inches lost and clothes fitting better. I think that would make most of us quite excited. But, what if I had quit the first week after not seeing these changes? Would I feel better now? Would I have seen these changes now? Of course not. It takes time and patience to achieve the goal of improving health which I have made a commitment to doing.
Now, you might ask what does that have to do with writing. I believe some of the same things apply. It takes time, practice, and patience to be good at writing. Nothing happens immediately in the writing world just like nothing happens immediately in the improving health world. That doesn’t mean you don’t try or that you don’t keep trying. If people such as Stephen King, H.G. Wells, Tom Clancy, Louisa May Alcott, or Laura Ingalls Wilder had not written the works they are famous for, we would not know about them today. For the amount of published material that has come out from each of those authors, I can only imagine the hundreds or thousands of words they wrote that will never see the light of day. I won’t lie to you. Someday, I would like to be published, but I know I’m not ready, that I’m not good enough, yet. I do want to be good enough though, but I know for that to happen, it will take time, practice, and patience.
Until next time, be real!