As writers, sooner or later we will need the gift of patience and the fortitude to wait. We wait for submissions, we wait for an agent, we wait for a manuscript to ripen so we have fresh eyes. Today, I offer you some quotes and inspiration on this crucial skill.
One of my favorite books while in college was SIDDARTHA by Herman Hesse. There was a time when I knew much of it by heart. I remembered that Siddartha could conquer obstacles by perfecting these skills: thinking, fasting, and waiting.
“When someone is seeking,” said Siddartha, “It happens quite easily that he only sees the thing that he is seeking; that he is unable to find anything, unable to absorb anything, because he is only thinking of the thing he is seeking, because he has a goal, because he is obsessed with his goal. Seeking means: to have a goal; but finding means: to be free, to be receptive, to have no goal."
― Hermann Hesse,
To me, Hesse here is describing the writer's ultimate goal, publication. But if that is all we see, we may miss the fruits of the journey: friendships formed with other writers, connections that are established in the interim, finding our voice, and knowing our craft.
The brilliant Paul Coelho, a Brazilian lyricist and author of THE ALCHEMIST, another newer treasured book, said this: "Life was always a matter of waiting for the right moment to act."
Sometimes we jump too soon. Wait for four to six polished stories before seeking your dream agent. Sit still with your story and see what rises to the top to find your theme. Research some more to find the riveting story in your nonfiction.
Finally, here are a two posts about patience, waiting, and the writer's life:
Patience Is a Writer's Most Important Virtue - Jeff Goins
So I've Been Thinking - Janet Reid
What books, blogs, or quotes help you find patience as a writer? I am waiting for them in the comment section.