Writers need to be patient. It's a fact. Crafting a manuscript takes time. Time to plan the story, time to write the story, time to edit the story, and then...(gasp!)...time to release the story to the world. Every step of the process takes hours, days, weeks, even years of waiting and wondering. We've all heard of authors who recognized the first inklings of a story in childhood and published the finished products in the sunset of their lives. It's a wonderful, full-circle idea. Really, it is.
Of course we've also heard of the geophysicist who scribbled his or her ideas down at afternoon tea, sent them off to a friend that night and, voila! Story published and on the NY Times Bestsellers list mere months later.
If you've done just that, I hope you know how lucky you are. Perhaps your mother rubbed a rabbit's foot on your cradle and fed you four-leaf clovers in your soup. I'm trying very hard to be happy for you. Seriously, I am. Okay, not really. I'm just doing my best not to hate your stinking guts.
I am a complete failure in the patience department. Well, at least in the writing patience department. I can wait for ages for some things (I'm the type that never peeks at Christmas presents, and never reads the ending first). But when I'm writing a story I want it to be done and done now. The words come flying out of my brain too fast for my fingers to keep up. I can't wait to send it off to the editor, and then I check my email hourly (okay maybe every five seconds), until it's back. I zip through the edits and then I want to send it out on an express train the next day. Sadly, it doesn't work this way. I know this...and I'm sure just about every newbie mistake I've made has stemmed from my lack of patience.
However...the manuscript I'm working on now has been almost eight years in the making. EIGHT YEARS! That's like a hundred in dog years, isn't it? And this manuscript is slowly shaping, forming, aging...like fine red wine (Merlot, anyone?). I'm excited about it. It's taken time because it's real, honest, and true. How does impatient little me end up writing something like that? I have no idea. Lots of cleansing breaths and buckets of coffee I guess.
How 'bout you? Do you suffer from impatientitis? Or are you cool and calm about the whole thing? I'd love to hear how you cope with the long spaces of time in between the magic. I'll share a coffee with you while we wait.