Thursday, August 27, 2009

Patience...or the Lack Thereof

How many of you are patient people by nature? I think that most of us have to learn patience, and we usually do that when we become adults, especially parents. But as writers? How much patience do we have to have, or acquire, when we write? We have to be patient when our muse takes off on vacation and leaves us behind. Waiting for her to return is such a chore ! Then we have to be patient during our rewriting and editing process. Think about many times has that muse said, "Take this out, it holds up the action," and you say, "But it's so beatifully written!" We fall in love with our own words, and it takes a great deal of patience to delete them forever.

Then, of course, there's the waiting time. We've sent out our queries, sometimes for as many as 5 or 10 different stories and/or articles. Now we wait. And wait. And wait. Days pass and turn into weeks, which pass and turn into months. We're still waiting. Patiently. Yeah, right! If we're so patiently waiting, then how come we shove everyone out of our way in order to get to the mailbox first, regardless of who we might knock down in the process? If we're so patiently waiting, how come we scream and yell and tear up any envelopes that aren't from a publisher? If we're so patiently waiting, how come it's so difficult to continue to write while we waiting for what we've already written to be accepted...or...rejected?

Patience! Why is it so hard to come by? When I was teaching at the university, my students would sometimes call me at home ( with permission), and my husband would tell me that I had "the patience of Job" with them. But when I started to write, it seems like that word totally escaped my vocabulary!

How about you? How much patience do you have?

Monday, August 24, 2009

Monday Musing

Have you ever thought about why you write? No, that's not a rhetorical question, I'm serious. Why do you write? It's stressful, frustrating, taxing, sometimes even boring when you are being forced to meet a deadline. It is a lonely occupation, one that most non-writers simply don't understand. It takes time away from husbands, wives, children, and life in general. So...why do you write?

I've heard people say: "It's my life"; "It's in my blood"; "I live for writing" or "I can't live without writing." Oh, come on! If it's your life, you need to get a life! We know it's not in your blood, and if all you live for is writing, see above...get a life.

When we're not being overly dramatic, we should really think about why we write. Writers have to have an oversized ego, don't you agree? I mean, if we're so determined that what we have to say is something that all readers, in my case, children, absolutely have to read, doesn't that say something about our egos? Or maybe even, a slight bit of superiority complex?

Now, in the past, I would never have agreed to someone telling me I had a superiority complex...or even, an over-indulged ego. But the last few years, I've really been wondering about that. There is something inside of me that need to write...or you should write. At least I've never felt that all I had to live for is writing. On the other hand, would I be the same person I am today if I was not writing?

I'm an artist. I believe that I write because I want to paint pictures with words, just as I paint them on canvas. I think I'm mostly trying to satisfy that little demon-ego that sits on my shoulder and whispers in my ear. Of course, she tells me that writing is more important than painting, but I really don't believe her.

I want to open children's eyes to the wonders of imagination and fantasy, to truth and valor, to love and honor. I want them, especially teens, to see that there is beauty and joy in the world, that life does not have to be lived on the dark side. For those who do live on the dark side, I want to reasssure them they will come out into the light. I want to show them that opening their minds and their hearts will lead them to reaching for the stars, and even if those stars are never within their grasp, their journey towards them was never in vain.

This is why I write. Why do you?