Monday, May 6, 2013

Patience, A Writer Must Have

Patience, the trees seem to say, we're not ready to be green yet.

My kids have been into Yoda lately, thus my inverted title, but I really feel that Yoda's wording is appropriate for this mantra a writer must tell herself over and over: "Patience, you must have."

Last Wednesday I finished an essay, or rather I got it to what I think is close to its final form. I read it out loud to myself, one of my editing rituals when a piece is in one of its later incarnations. I ran Word searches for my writing foibles - starting too many sentences with "And..." or overusing "a bit."  I edited some more. And then I felt this eagerness to submit it wash over me, especially because my Outlook calendar was reminding me of several submission deadlines in early May. Oh, it was so tempting to say, "It's done, and I'm sending it out!"

But no, I reigned myself in. I know that every piece needs at least one final look over from another pair of eyes, usually my daughter's, who is an astute editor (She's been especially keen on picking out all my non-parallel constructions.) This particular piece had been hard to put together as it is an excerpt from my memoir manuscript that I'm trying to rewrite into a standalone piece, and for that to work, I really need someone else to look at it, even after the umpteenth revision. So I sent it off to my writers' group and am patiently (!) awaiting their feedback. Hopefully, hopefully, they will tell me it's good, it's done, and they will have only minor editing suggestions.

However, once I do submit this essay, more patience will be required as weeks, if not months, will go by before anybody responds, let alone wants to publish it. So, patience is definitely the name of the game as a writer.

11 comments:

  1. I've said the same so many times. Patience! I have been through a similar process with a new story for an anthology, subbed to the crit group, then edited and revised a bit and sent it back to the group. I felt like it was reading pretty well but the first crit came back pointing out too many things. It is not ready! Patience! Thanks for the reminder, Annette.

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    1. Nancy - the heart sinks, doesn't it, when that first crit comes back on something you thought was ready but alas, it's not.

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  2. Ja, du hast Recht, Geduld ist eine wichtige Faehigkeit, die man braucht, um ein Werk an den Punkt zu bringen, wo jedes Wort, jedes Komma, jeder Gedanke, jedes Bild an der richtigen Stelle sitzt. Und gerade, wenn man fast fertig ist, ist es am Schwersten, sich immer noch mal hinzusetzen und dies und das zu hinterfragen, den unrunden Stellen auf die Schliche zu kommen. Und wenn man ihnen auf die Schliche kommt, daran zu arbeiten. Und nicht zu hoffen, der Leser merkt es nicht. Fast fertig ist eine Falle, in die ich nur zu gerne tappe.

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    1. Barbara - ja, ein auesserst nerviger Prozess! Andererseits lese ich manchmal eine alte Story von mir, die veroeffentlicht wurde, und da stelle ich dann erstaunt fest, dass das Ganze doch recht gut geschrieben ist. Also lohnt es sich. Man hofft es wenigstens...

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  3. Patience can be tricky. The excitement can be overwhelming.

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    1. Patricia Lynne - that's exactly it! It's so hard not to give in to excitement and be patient instead.

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  4. I love the tie-in to the photograph of the trees!

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  5. Many a time, I tell myself, patience, patience.

    Then I growl back at myself.

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    1. William - whatever you do, be patient... :-)

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  6. love this type of urban art ...can't wait to see your papers

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