I’ve just come off of a writing jag, and finished a four book series. Whew. I’ve neglected my blog, so I wanted to take some time this morning to reflect on my writing journey. I’m often asked by other writers and readers, what is the hardest thing about writing? That’s an easy one. Patience.
I’m often tempted to move at the speed of a cheetah chasing a gazelle, when I should be the slow, steady tortoise. I’ve witnessed this in other authors as well. You know when the work is rushed and, as they say, “not ready for prime time.” Patience is a difficult virtue to master, but I’m learning.
Here are some tips on when and how to use patience with your writing:
- Once you’ve written the first draft let the manuscript sit for a few days at least. Not hours…days or even weeks. When you pick it up again, you have fresh eyes.
- When editing, take the time to analyze the words you’ve written. Review your work in this order: manuscript, chapter, scene, paragraph, sentence Break it down and study it to be sure you’ve utilized words in their most powerful way.
- Review the five senses in your writing. Can your reader feel the scene? Smell the roses, taste the salt air? How are you describing color?
- If you write a series, write it all before releasing the first book.
- It takes time to build a reader base. A lot of time. Don’t give up
- Don’t force the story. If a scene isn’t working, walk away. Give your brain time to relax. Sleep on it.
- Take the time to work with a professional editor and build your work into the best it can be. Those readers will still be there when your book is ready.
- Work on building your craft every day. Challenge yourself as a writer.
I hope you find some of these helpful. Exercising patience is never easy in any profession, but I’ve found it particularly challenging with writing. The results are worth it.
Share what patience has taught you.