Friday, February 10, 2012

word play

When I was still in medical practice, I cared for a lot of PATIENTS every day.

Now that I'm retired and writing, I find I need a lot of PATIENCE every day. I was toying with the importance of these words in my life when it occurred to me that, for a doctor, patients are a virtue. For a writer, patience is a virtue.

Some writers are prolific. Authors like Jodi Piccoult and Jonathan Mayberry come to mind. Their minds roil with ideas...with engaging characters, compelling scenes, and twisted plots. You get the impression that they can hardly keep up with themselves as the words tumble out onto the page.

And then there's me. Pacing about, mumbling to myself for lack of meaningful dialogue, puttering around...waiting for a story to take shape in my mind. Words lumber onto the page and off again. My delete key is wearing out. It can be very frustrating for a beginner.

Patience is the key...patience and faith. Sooner or later, given sufficient reflection, the characters do show up. Something transpires between them. And eventually, a story unfolds.

If you are just beginning to write...or compose, or paint, or act...don't be discouraged if your work emerges slowly, in fits and starts, with hesitation and delays. Be patient with yourself. The fact that others have found success means you can, too!

Do you feel like you're galloping or lumbering through your WIP?
"Inspiration comes very slowly and quietly...
Your soul gets frightfully dry and sterile
because you are so quick, snappy, and efficient
about doing one thing after another...
You should be idle, limp, and alone for much of the time,
 as lazy as men fishing on the levee...

This quiet looking and thinking is the imagination;
it is letting in ideas."
--Brenda Ueland--
In my next post, I'll tell you about "cherished illusions".


  1. OOOOOH I like the advice to be idle, limp and alone... really really like that.

  2. I sometimes do lose my patience. I also have trouble relaxing and taking some quiet time to just think.

    1. How about writing your memoir? Write with the language and style of your life so far. I'd be your first customer!

      Love U
      Pete, your bro'

  3. Susan--I know. You have so much going on! Having a little time on your hands is one advantage of getting older.

    Thanks, Pete. But I think YOUR memoir is so much more important! Remember? We said we might collaborate??--Luv u more...

  4. Hi Aunt Jan,
    Love this blog. Patience is a virtue many New Yorkers lack, myself included. During my recent "vacation", I worked extremely hard on acting instead of reacting, breathing and counting before speaking, and actually prayed for patience every morning. God answered my prayers time and again. ;)