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Friday, June 3, 2011

Patience is a Virtue?

I've heard that saying a million times but never really had to wait and be patient as much as I have now that I'm a part of this crazy publishing world.

I'm the type of person who likes to go, go, go - you give me a job or make a request, I do it right away -usually this works well for me but when it comes to writing, not so much. This is especially true with editing and revisions - taking your time is definitely necessary and yet I am constantly feeling this crazy urge to push through and get it done.

For example, right now I have my newly revised ms out with two different betas and I've managed to bully one of them into sending me the chapters as she gets them done. I know this might be a supremely stupid thing to do because it seems like it would make more sense to wait and see what problems my betas flag in the ms as a whole. And yet, here I am, editing away before she's even done reading the whole thing.

I've tried to occupy my time with other things I enjoy - spending time with my family, reading, exploring some other writing ideas but I'd say at least fifty times a day I'm thinking about the rewrite and wondering when I'll get a free chunk of time to work on it.

Once again, I found some great advice on literary agent Rachelle Gardner's blog(she seems to be totally in sync with my crisis modes) It's so true that this writing journey I'm on is filled with many, many examples of what Rachelle points out - waiting, more waiting and even more waiting, stress, more stress, tons-o-stress. It's a challenging industry, but no one said it was going to be easy.

After reading her post I remembered that I went into this knowing it would get tough at times, knowing that things would be out of my control, knowing that I really need to chill out and relax - give my betas and myself time. This dream means too much to me for silly mistakes - mistakes I will make if I rush my work.

Am I going to stop this round of edits? No, but I will give my beta the time she needs to get the rest of my ms done -I will retract my demand for chapter by chapter emails. Besides, she's given me enough to work with in what she's sent me so far.

What about all of you? Are you able to wait patiently or do you go crazy when things don't happen quickly? What mistakes have you made by rushing into things?

And finally - I've drawn a winner for the month of May - thank you to everyone who commented this month. The winner of an e-copy of Ghost Bride is: Danielle La Paglia! Congratulations! Please email me at angelaaddams@live.ca so I can get some info from you.

For the rest of you - I'm starting another contest for June - same rules as before -comment and be entered to win an e-copy of Ghost Bride!


  1. LOL, yep, Patients is not one of my virtues. Whilst I don't tend to write much these days, when I get my hands on a title I've been looking forward to I start devouring as soon as possible.

    Finding ways to occupy your time is always one of the hardest things, especially when things start to niggle. By reading through and editing, I think you've got an intuitive idea as to what can be improved although lets face it, the writer in you is never satisfied with what they've done.

    I know a couple of authors who for years yearned to go back and re-edit some of thier best selling material.

  2. Pills help. ;) lol! I used to be a real stress ball, now I volunteer for Victim Services (we help in times of tragedy), and now I'm just glad to enjoy every moment I have doing whatever it is I'm doing. If you would like to borrow my mental cone of serenity sometime I can loan it to you. ;)

  3. I like to be on-the-go all the time as well, but I've come up with a new solution for impatience: forget about it. No, really.

    I just entered two contests, and instead of checking my email everyday, what am I doing? Forgetting about them and continuing on with whatever else I'm doing (more writing). Then, when critiques from judges come in a couple months, they will be a pleasant surprise.

    Hopefully this works out. ;)

  4. Sometimes I can wait patiently if I have another project to work on while my MS is out to beta readers. Usually by the time I am done with a MS I'm ready for a break before diving into edits anyway.

    Great post, thanks for sharing.

  5. Yay! Thank you so much, Angie! :)

    As for patience, I'm getting better at it. The first time I posted in my writing group, I refreshed the forum 100 times a day waiting for each crit to come in. The first round of betas on my whole ms nearly killed me, but I'm getting better. I'm learning that taking time away from the ms is crucial to seeing it with fresh eyes.