Dealing with Impatience

ImpatientOne thing I’ve learned from years of working in publishing is that this business can severely test your patience. Writing a great book and getting it published can be a long, slow process — it’s challenging even for people with unusually large reserves of patience; but there is a certain contingent of people for whom patience is a constant struggle, both in their pursuit of publishing and in life in general. For these people, the publishing journey can be excruciatingly painful. These are often the folks who choose self-publishing, less out of a careful consideration of the costs/benefits, and more out of sheer unwillingness to wait any longer.

If you’re one of those who struggles with impatience, and you desire to improve in this area, this post is for you. Let’s look at some reasons people are often impatient; what’s harmful about being impatient; and what you might do to develop more patience.

What are some reasons you might you be impatient?

• You want something very badly and find it difficult to wait for it to happen.

• You have high standards that can translate into unrealistic expectations.

• You are highly intelligent or an above average writer (corroborated by outside sources) leading you to believe you shouldn’t have to wait for others to recognize your superiority.

• You’re not good at delayed gratification.

• You have a certain amount of arrogance.

• You don’t take the time to understand other people’s processes, i.e. why some things may take longer than you like.

But why is impatience a problem? Can’t it help me be more successful?

• Impatience makes you a poor listener. Most people who are impatient are not good at receiving feedback. Therefore, your opportunities for learning, growing and becoming a better writer, or better at anything, are reduced.

• Impatience keeps you from taking in as much information as you could, even when it’s readily available. You may tend to skip over information that could help you, in your haste to get to “results.”

• Impatience born of arrogance makes you devalue others’ opinions, lessening your ability to learn from them.

• Impatience can make you annoy others by your constant checking in. Are we there yet? Is it done yet?

What are some strategies for reducing your inclination to act out of impatience?

• Recognize that impatience can alienate you from others and in the long run, usually has a negative impact on relationships and career.

• Ask a few trusted friends to let you know when you’re behaving in a way that signals impatience; pay attention to what triggered the impatience and work toward acceptance of those situations.

• Create some mental strategies to calm yourself in situations where your impatience is likely to surface.

• Work on understanding other people’s perspectives and situations, accepting that they might be different from yours.

• Consciously seek out others’ opinions and feedback; work hard at listening intently and understanding their position, whether or not you agree.

• Seek out information and opportunities to learn and grow; give yourself the time you need to develop new competencies, rather than jumping ahead in search of a quick result.

Do you struggle with impatience? How do you deal with it?

*Some thoughts in this post were inspired by the book For Your Improvement: A Development and Coaching Guide, 2nd Edition, Lominger, Ltd., Inc.
  1. Timothy J. Bradley says:

    Rachelle–great article! I have a HUGE problem with impatience, specifically waiting for feedback from publishers. I get so excited when I hammer out I think is a good concept for a book, and I want to get going on it RIGHT NOW. I think a lot of it stems from the fact that I came to the writing game a little late in life, and I have a lot of ideas I’d like to turn into books. I continually feel a sense of time pressure about it–unfortunately, publishers don’t share the same sense of urgency about my work, and it just takes lots of time for anything to move forward. The advice that has helped me somewhat is that while waiting to hear back on a project, the best thing to do is start working on another one. That’s helped a bit, but it’s almost a daily struggle to at least APPEAR to remain calm.

  2. theguyacrossthetable says:

    Hmmmm I certainly have all of this… I wish my impatience wouldn’t hurt my friend a lot… I will do my best to just sit and listen and nothing more.

  3. I am fascinated along with thinking about what you are covering right here.

  4. Jo Murphey says:

    God is teaching me patience the hard way…the little easier ways did not work. I had a stroke back in May.

    When you are used to typing 80 words a minute the brain creating test at 120 words a minutes isn’t too bad. BUT typing one handed at ten words a minute with a brain with no short term memory is maddening.

    Editing has gone out the window along with how to spell simple words and sentence construction. But I’m up for the challenge and started a new manuscript; a Christian based, humorous look at stroke recovery.

    It is based on my own recovery that sometimes is down right hilarious. There is enough serious stuff in the marketplace about recovering from strokes…it’s time to sit back and laugh at yourself even if it’s to stop crying.

  5. Goodness, Ms. Gardner! I don’t know whether you have time to read all of these comments … ! I have been thinking about these points on self-publishing since you posted this several days ago. I think, for my part, I don’t so much feel impatience with the process of finding an agent, as the need to find an agent with whom my writing strikes a chord. And that takes time. It seems it is a very subjective process. Of course my writing must be where it should be, and I’m doing my part on that, but there has to be that personal connection. I think, that as a person, I would also have to be someone the agent feels he/she could stand behind, someone they feel they could work with, someone in it for the long haul, who bond could be formed with over time, while trust built, and mutual knowledge of one another grew … so much more down the road than an agent just making that call to me. That would be only the first step, wouldn’t it?

  6. Janet Bettag says:

    I think impatience is a key factor in so many independent writers rushing to self publish, contributing to the huge numbers of badly edited books currently on the market.

    It’s hard to be patient when you’ve already invested two or three years in a project, but my personal experience has been that the finished product is so far superior to that first rough draft, that it’s well worth the effort.

    There was a time when one of my favorite prayers was, “God grant me patience and I want it RIGHT NOW!” A dear friend told me that if I kept praying for patience, God was going to continue giving me opportunities to develop it. Lesson learned. Now among my favorite prayers is, “Thank you, God, for Your perfect timing and for making everything work together as it should.”

  7. Very helpful post, as always. I certainly struggle with patience in all aspects of my life. But my impatience with respect to getting my book published stems largely from my inexperience with the industry. I don’t know what to expect in terms of timing, responses, etc. I struggle with knowing when I have waited long enough to hear back from someone before moving to Plan B. Perhaps you could shed some light on the timing in the publishing world?

  8. Dana McNeely says:

    Great post. I’m sure there’s still plenty of room for improvement, but I’ve learned a little about patience from 20 years in Corporate America and motherhood. I’m not sure which taught me more! In either situation, negotiating and waiting are facts of life.

  9. I think I struggle more with the impatience of friends and family who want to know why I haven’t started querying yet or why I’m not published already. They think that as long as I’ve been writing (about five years seriously, though I’ve dabbled on and off for years before that), I should be amazing by now. Actually, most of them are biased and probably think I was born an amazing writer. Thus, they can’t fathom that my second-to-most-recent novel had some serious problems and still needs to undergo a revision/rewrite, and that I’ll be a way better writer after I do that. And some of the things I’ll learn from that may help improve my most recent novel, even though it’s already a lot better even in first draft form. Point is, I’m not knocking them out of the park with little effort yet. That fact actually makes me more patient, because I want to improve my craft and hope to minimize rejections or bad reviews as a result.

  10. Shirley Anne says:

    This was a great article, Rachel. I suspect though that you will not find arrogance as the reason for displayed impatience, as I think most writers are always worried about the criticism they will receive. It’s okay to ask one’s friends, or to like one’s own writing even, but to be “out there” is an unknown! I have learnt to keep going in spite of criticism, and if I had listened, I would never have written my book. Impatience may come from sheer desperation–an example would be, how can I keep writing when I cannot even put food on the table? Another reason may be ignorance of the process–I didn’t have a clue what was expected on this journey, and have learnt some lessons what seems ages down the line. God does teach patience through trial! I loved the comment someone made earlier about not praying for patience! And also that impatient people are the ones who change the world!

  11. I’m naturally impatient, but I’m learning to mentally tap my foot instead of externally tap my foot and drive people nuts. 🙂 When it comes to my writing, I’m more impatient with myself as daily life competes for attention and my writing life wants to win. I have to be EXTREMELY cautious of not transferring my impatience to my two children (both under the age of 3). At that point, impatience can become hurtful … not worth it. So I write and pursue publication in God’s timing. I’m learning to laugh every time my 4 mo old wakes me at 5am and monopolizes my writing time with his ridiculously cute giggles.

  12. Samuel says:

    Sometimes impatience is appropriate, when incompetence is afoot.

  13. Sarah Thomas says:

    I started skimming this post, then thought better of it.

    I keep telling God I don’t mind waiting. I just want to know exactly what I’m waiting for and exactly when I’ll get it.

  14. Peggy Dover says:

    I handle my impatience with the publishing world beautifully. I’m a maniac behind the wheel.

  15. Zan Marie says:

    Thanks, Rachelle. You reminded me not to ask God for patience. I’m always scared He’ll give me problems that defy my ability to wait. ; )

  16. There are many who can benefit from this post. And they’re not all writers. Patience is learned.

    • R.A.Savary says:

      Patience and acceptance go hand-in-hand for me. I think I grew in leaps and bounds after I realized I didn’t ever have to except anything; it would happen (in its own time) anyway. It was just a matter of how much peace I wanted during the process.

      • R.A.Savary says:

        “Accept.” I wonder how many others go back and read the comments later. I suppose it depends on how good the memory is. That’s the case for me, anyway. I don’t follow all that many blogs, but sometimes things really click later on, but when I go back to look them up I can’t find the particular piece.

  17. Dave Clark says:

    I allow myself one way to indulge in impatience: I heat my instant coffee in a microwave.

  18. How’s this for impatient? I skipped over half the things about impatience to get to the question at the bottom.
    Yes, I did go back and read …some of them.
    But in case ANYONE is curious, I’d never do that to a book contract.
    😉

    • I read everything in the blog post, but my eyes glaze over when looking at contracts. Legal jargon send my ADD into the outer solar system. If it weren’t for the Dane, I’d be one seed short of a vegetable. 😛

      • Your Dane is great, isn’t she? I bet *no one* says that!

        My Ontarian just asked me if I was editing and I answered “a bit more, than I have to start writing query letters”.
        His response?
        “That is cool, just so cool!”

        Aren’t foreign spouses awesome?

  19. April Brown says:

    Time is a factor for me.

    I know I only have so much time before I will be too blind to type. I’m already too blind to see a blank screen without help.

    Do I really have a decade to wait on the query an agent, then a publisher, then edit, then it’s finally published per book?

    At the rate of my vision loss – No.

    Can I depend on an agent or publisher to do my editing and marketing for me when I can no longer see the screen? – No.

    It’s no so much a lack of patience, as it is a lack of productive time left.

    It’s easy to see a 20 year old, and tell them they have decade to write and research publishing before they have to publish. Maybe not. They may be alive only another month.

    Where my patience wears thin is the lack of professional courtesy. So often, writers are expected to kiss up, hurry up, and wait. Read the mind of potential agents and publishers (you didn’t follow guidelines – guidelines that only exist on their own hard drive – not accessible on their website). So often, it’s a guessing game. Did the agent even get the query? Then they throw a fit when you choose another agent and don’t let them now, even though they have a “no response means no” policy. I can’t read your mind. I don’t second guess. Of course, by not doing so, I cause as much trouble as if I tried!

    I can’t think of any job in any industry I have worked, where correspondence could get so backed up without expecting someone to call or write.

    That’s the worst thing, should a writer just treat every correspondence as a “no,” upfront? After all, by the time they finally get a “yes” (from and agent) they likely haven’t looked at the novel in well over a year. By the time a publisher gets it – at least two years. By the time the public gets it – it’s likely been written five years, and well dated.

    • Manuscripter says:

      “It’s not so much a lack of patience, as it is of productive time left.”

      Yes. Although I am not visually challenged, I agree with April Brown. The impatience comes from seeing your days slip away. Your hopes and dreams are as strong as ever, but the time in which to make them come true is diminishing. Time truly does go more quickly as the years pass. But publishing moves at the same slow pace and gets more frustrating as those years pass.

  20. Specifically related to the writing journey, I find the best cure for impatience is working on a new project. Rather than waiting for someone to discover the amazing book that sits getting metaphorically dusty in my documents file, I start a new book or go back to an even older one and edit.

  21. Paula B. says:

    Ah, but it’s the impatient people who change the world.

  22. Else says:

    I think it can be a big struggle for those writers who have ever had a day job– or, for that matter, ever been to school– to adjust to Time as it exists in the publishing world.

    For example, in my day job, “I’ll have it done Thursday” meant “I’ll have it done Thursday.”

    In the publishing world, “I’ll have it done Thursday” can mean “I’ll have it done on a Thursday. Quite possibly a Thursday in this very century. But definitely a Thursday.”

    /snark

    Seriously, though, I used to get quite bent out of shape waiting months for someone to get back to me “by the end of the week”. Now I just let go of the whole idea of time. I always meet deadlines myself, but don’t really expect anyone else to.

  23. I have ridiculously high expectations of myself. I wanted to leave a witty and thoughtful comment, but I couldn’t come up with something fast enough to suit me. So, this will have to do. 🙂 Thanks, Rachelle. Many excellent points!

  24. Denise says:

    Gulp. Guilty as charged.

    That’s me, too much of the time!

    I have been much better employing several of the techniques you suggested, though. So will consider myself a “recovering impatient.”

  25. Jan Cline says:

    I don’t think I know anyone who isn’t impatient about something in their life. I have struggled with this for one reason you didn’t touch on specifically – age. Even thought I started writing at an early age, I didn’t start to get serious about it until about 6 years ago. I’m 58 years old. I know how long it takes to be good enough to be published, and I know how long it takes to go through the publishing process. I have a hard time shaking the feeling that I will run out of time. How do I cope? I have recently made a goal list for the coming year and I’m taking some online classes on the craft. I can’t push myself into publication but I can certainly do my best to be my best. It’s a productive distraction from watching the clock. 🙂
    Jan

  26. Great Post Rachelle! I must admit that I have been impatient all my life. Arrogance, was one of the traits, and for many years I have created many uncomfortable situations in my life and others. However, after many years of being aware of my lack of patience, I have finally got it under control. I still behave a bit impatient at times, mostly when I am tired. For the most part, I don’t feel it anymore.

    I believe what helped me overcome being impatient was accepting it at first, and then be aware of it, at all times. Also, wanting to be a better listener. This change brought peace into my life and everyone around me. I now focus on all the benefits that it brings to keep me in track and I don’t interrupt (as much. hehe)

    Thanks for sharing this with us!
    blessings!

  27. Stephanie M. says:

    I only get really impatient when I’m kept in the dark about the publication process. If someone tells me why I’m waiting I’m fine with it, but if it’s just waiting in a dark room with no guidance, then no, not down w/ that. I think that’s why people get frustrated in this business.

    • Shirley Anne says:

      Great comment. I totally agree. If I know I will hear something in 3 months, I wait and hope. If I hear a “no”, that’s okay. The “something” may just be a basic automated acknowledgment saying: we have received your work, and if you don’t hear from us in 3 months, it did not meet our requirements. But to hear nothing makes me impatient. Did the publisher receive my work? Did it go to the right email address? Did some other person throw it out before it got to the decision maker? Why am I hearing nothing?

  28. I struggle with patience. I’m getting there. Baby steps. Baby steps.

    Loved your point how impatience can make you a poor listener.

    ~ Wendy

  29. Jeanne says:

    What a great post. Impatience. Some of what I saw in the causes of impatience is pride. Yikes. My kids have taught me a lot about patience and empathy for others I interact with.

    When I feel impatient while waiting for something, I try to focus my thoughts and energy elsewhere. And, like PJ said above, when I don’t receive that “glimmer of hope” in the waiting, I bring it before the Lord through journaling and prayer. And I usually talk with a trusted friend.

  30. While I agree with much of this post, that patience is certainly a virtue, it is important that we don’t let other opportunities slip by in the name of “being patient.” In other words, what you really, really want is certainly worth waiting for, but make sure it’s what you really, really want. 🙂

  31. When it comes to the dog and potty times, I’m very impatient.

    My dog seems to think that everybody gets to live on “Dog Time”. That we each have 24 hours a day to do nothing but walk 50 circles around the grass looking for just the right few blades on which to deposit our “business”; to stare up at the sky, sniff the air, or just wonder at the distant leaf that blew across the pavement or the car honking over near the freeway.

    Then there’s me, who lives on the opposite of Dog TIme, scrambling in the morning to do 50,000 things before I leave for work, then in a rush as I come home on my lunch hour to let the dog out, do her business, and oh yeah, maybe have an opportunity to actually eat a healthy lunch before I’m late clocking back in to work.

    I can deal patiently with the writing life most of the time, but the conflict with Dog Time is maddening.

    • Thanks for the reminder that all dogs are like that and not just my beagle. They dance at the door in urgency only to sniff around like their stalking the right place to unload. 🙂

  32. KarenM says:

    Another fantastic and timely post, Rachelle. It’s almost like your topics lately are mirroring my journey.

    Querying my first novel this summer has indeed been a test to my patience. When I asked a wonderful writer friend of mine what to do while I wait, she said without hesitation, “Start you next book.”

    Keeps me focused on moving forward.

    So between that and my new blog (along w/ family life) I have no excuse to sit around moping that I didn’t get a response on this day or that. Now if I can only convince myself to stop running to my smart phone everytime I get an email alert. 😉

  33. Lisa says:

    LOVE the post! LOVE the comments!

    I am so guilty of this…. I think because I am afraid that my dream may never be realized. Really, I should be ever so thankful. My writing has grown, changed, improved so much in the six months that I have really got serious. I’m totally rewriting my WIP. I shudder to think that I once thought it was complete.

    God refines, but that refining often takes much longer than we like. But, I would never seek to rush my Savior. I shouldn’t expect less of myself or others.

    Patience is actually a higher standard:)

  34. J.M. Bray says:

    One thing I’ve learned about patience…don’t pray for it.

  35. Yes. I struggle with patience. Every red light feels like a test from God. “We going over this lesson again, Big Guy?” He smiles and nods from above. Apparently, I need a refresher :o). How do I learn to deal with it? I read the story about Joseph in the Bible. How in the world did he keep working with the standards he continually had when his journey was frought with setbacks. In the end, it all makes sense. I keep reminding myself God has a plan and I need to allow it to unfold.

  36. I work with the public, and when somebody is impatient looking at me over the counter while I fill their prescription, it makes me nervous and more likely to make a mistake. (I know that’s a run on sentence.)

    As I get older I try to be more patient.

    I’m not ready to give up my dream of becoming a published author yet.

    Thanks for sharing this post. It’s a great reminder for me!

  37. One practical way I’ve found to curb impatience in writing is to write a fast first draft.

    I’m not a touch-typist, but this evening in two hours I got through about 2000 words. I’m just telling the story as it comes to mind. The descriptive detailing will come later.

    The advantage, for me, is that there is a steadily mounting virtual ‘stack of paper’ next to my ‘typewriter.

    (Hey, remember paper and typewriters? Correction fluid? Carbon paper? Anyone miss it?)

  38. Excellent post, thanks Rachelle and a timely (!) reminder of the importance of controlling our natural writer’s impatience to see our stuff published. Everything you say applies to writers in a traditional publishing environment (those with contracts from trad publishers) but it also applies to indies, with perhaps an added emphasis on your last piece of advice: before self-publishing, make sure your book is in tip top shape and that you’ve got a marketing strategy in place. If you don’t, well, curb that impatience and…wait!

  39. AmalieB says:

    Good post. I would like to add to the list of possible causes of impatience: Lack of confidence.

    I struggle with impatience, but it’s not because I think I’m awesome. It’s more because I am afraid that I’m dreadful(Fear is a close personal friend of despondency).

    Confidence can be very hard to come by 🙂

    • Maybe the antithesis of self-confidence, and by association, impatience, is humor?

      I like the old word, merriness, because it implies simple fun taken at leisure, and enjoyed like wine.

      In merriment comes the realization that awesomeness is only visible in light; its shadow, that defines it, is our dreadfulness.

      Patience is being able to celebrate the one while being tolerant of the other.

      Beer helps, too. I like Foster’s.

      • Humor. I love that word. And wit.
        But “the humors” also referred to sanguine, melancholy, phlegmatic and choleric and I am mostly of an melancholy humor. When you couple that with a bit of choleric; presto! you have impatience.

        And that is why the descriptor, “you have high standards that can translate into unrealistic expectations,” is the shoe that fits.

        I am chewing on all the thoughts of “time” in your discussion(s), Andrew. I believe it was C. S. Lewis who pointed out that we are so consumed by thoughts of time and how it flies. This concept of time is what firmly classifies us as mortal.

        • I think you’re right. It was C.S. Lewis.

          It’s interesting that in literature, and I think in our personal experience, there’s a yearning for moments that seem timeless. To step out of the river, to keep from being borne to a perceived dissolution in the sea!

          I think that longing is a rebellion against the yoke of impatience – it’s not our natural state, and the memory of a lost tranquility keeps calling us home.

    • Lisa says:

      I feel the same way, lingering there is the fear of dreadful to me too:)Press on~

  40. Great post. My favorite is: “Work on understanding other people’s perspectives and situations, accepting that they might be different from yours.”

    There are x-number of other people and factors involved in the journey from great manuscript to it’s on the bookshelves. But the true gamble is when-and why-readers are willing to buy. That’s the moment that can change in an instant.

    It’s the strongest lure of self-publishing. Readers – today – will get my story. Two years from now may be too late because what readers will buy in two years may not what I can convince them to purchase today…

    Which means, the self published story may lack long-term power but it does have buzz potential. That’s the choice being made by writers today.

  41. Boy, did you nail it! It took me quite a while to learn patience. And while I was working on that, I learned so many other things. Patience & thick skin are the two most necessary traits a writer can possess.

  42. I don’t struggle with Impatience, but I dated her sister, Despondency. If I see hope, then I can wait for a very long time. The pizza that I ordered last week is still on the way. When I was a kid, my mother used to tell me to wait until my father got home. He was gone six months at a time, so, yeah, I learned patience.

    Where I fall on my face is that I grow despondent when I don’t see some sign of hope. So, in a sense, it’s a lack of patience waiting for a glimmer of hope that causes the downtrodden mood. I’m patient with people, but not with my dreams.

    My cure is three fold. I place it in God’s hands. I tell only one patient friend about my low spirit (to spare the other people). And I journal the feelings until I gain some insight.
    Does it work? I let you know.

    • Is the cliche true, that to journey in hope is better than to arrive?

      And its corollary, that to travel through the slough of despond is worse than arrival in the heart of darkness…because despondency sees no limit to despair, while in reality despair does indeed have borders?

      • Hope is teleological at its core, so to hold that the journey is better than the goal would rob hope of its essence. Faith and hope are intertwined and both are best placed in God. It is uniting with God that is the ultimate goal.

        I do see the value of the cliche in the sense that a hopeful goal reaches back through time and pulls us forward on an adventure. If we arrive at the goal and find it wanting, the journey was a trip worth taking. No quest ever leaves us untransformed.

        I see your point on despair and despondency. The former has a transitive connotation while the latter appears static.

        • I always liked charity as being the ultimate transcendental quality, rather than ‘love’. In the formal, and also the colloquial, charity’s the active exponent of the other two.

          Love is formally that as well, but the colloquial usage has given the word a personalization that almost drowns out its dispassionate potential.

          Further, charity/love is empty without hope and mechanical without faith. Its primacy of position is due solely to its nature as a component of the triune, a reflection of the Godhead.

          I like the image of being pulled forward through time, in hope. It’s personally valuable to me at the very moment I write this – thanks, PJ.

    • Jeanne says:

      I understand that “lack of patience waiting for a glimmer of hope” leading to despondency/discouragement. Hope is truly a powerful element. I’m learning that when I feel discouraged, it’s usually because I have placed my hope in the wrong thing. Easy to say, hard to re-adjust my focus.

      Your plan for dealing with despondency sounds like a good one.

  43. I think I’m a fairly patient person, but I’ve learned that behavior since having children. Everything is a lengthy process in our house (especially potty training twin boys!).

    When I finally started writing earlier this year, there was an urgency in me that caused impatience, but I think it’s tempering out a bit and I’m starting to see this journey more as a marathon than a sprint to the finish line (like Beth!). Isn’t it ironic, when we want to get published we’re impatient, but when we have a contract suddenly the deadline approaches much too quickly! 🙂

    • Quite true! How many of us couldn’t wait to become adults only to find out that we had bills to pay and diapers to change. Oh it’s all good, but I would have appreciated those formative years so much more!

    • Jeanne says:

      Isn’t it amazing how children teach us the discipline of patience? For me that has developed through lots of times of being impatient with one of my kids and then having to ask for their forgiveness afterward.

    • I totally get the “finally writing leads to urgency” thing. Totally…

    • You are so right, Gabrielle, about learning patience after children. I have six, and it takes an incredibly long time just to get shoes on everyone and into the van to run an errand! I force myself to slow down when I see how quickly they grow up.

  44. For some reason, the likelihood of having less time ahead in life than I expected has made me far more patient.

    Interesting.

    It’s not a sort of what’s-the-use fatalism; I still plan for the future, and I’m happier now than at most times in my life. But there is this weird Zen serenity.

    Drives people around me crazy. Fun to watch.

    • Quite an ironic mood calibration. Perhaps you’ve figured out that impatience saps the joy out of the journey?

      • That’s part of it, but I think there’s something deeper as well – there’s the end of a dualistic path, a place where causality and non-causality meet.

        Impatience certainly saps the joy, but also – I’m not on the journey…I am the journey.

        In a very immanent way, what should be a situational bummer has been transfigured, and that transfiguration has taken me up into itself.

        I’m not one for metaphysical hippiespeak, but those words seem to be the best ones to accurately describe what’s happened.

    • Fun to watch? That’s IT! You are toast!
      Yeah, threatening a “spin the dial and see how long he lives” guy really is useless, isn’t it?

  45. Very timely. I’m not a generally impatient person. But in regards to getting answers about my writing, it’s been known to happen.

  46. Beth K. Vogt says:

    That line “Are we there yet?” brought back memories of riding in the car as a kid — and asking that question of my parents. I know my siblings and I drove them crazy? How? Because my kiddos asked the same question years later and drove me and my husband crazy. What goes around certainly does come around …
    🙂
    And yes, I’ve asked the “Are we there yet?” question as a writer — and had to learn to stuff a virtual sock in my mouth. I have two strategies to curb my impatience:
    1. Stop comparing my progress to others’ progress. Just. Stop.
    2. Remember my career is a marathon, not a sprint. I am aiming for more than one lap around the track.

    • Recently we took a three hour trip and our five year old asked us every two miles if we were there yet. I became tired of it, so I told her: “Don’t ask again until this number is a 7.” (Indicating the clock.) A minute later she said: “Is it 7, yet?” and continued to ask that question every two miles after that! 🙂

      • Gabrielle!

        That is so awesome! Is it 7 yet?

        Are we there yet? is so over.
        Is it 7 yet? is the new Are we there yet?!

      • Parental grin here. 😀

      • Gabrielle,

        That is awesome!

        ‘Are we there yet?’ is so over!
        ‘Is it 7 yet?’ is the new ‘Are we there yet?’

      • I hope you wrote that in her baby book. That’s precious!

        • I’m really good about writing down their cute sayings (I usually pop onto Facebook and put it there for the world to enjoy with me:) and then in December I print them all off and put together a little picture book with all my favorite pictures and sayings from the year and give them as gifts to grandmas & grandpas. It’s my favorite gift to give and their favorite gift to receive – and no matter how many books I publish over the years, these picture/saying books will be my favorite. 😉

      • Katy McKenna says:

        Oh, MAN, that’s funny. I’m gonna use that for my motto. “Is it 7 yet?” Thirty years ago, my toddler asked if we were there yet. I said, “No.” He said, “How much longer?” I said, “About as much time as it takes to watch 3 Seseame Streets.” From that second on, he started asking, “How many Sesames til we’re there?” Decades later, we still measure our lives in “Sesames.”

      • Jeanne says:

        So funny, Gabrielle! We heard a lot of, “Are we there yet?” on our road trip vacation this summer. 🙂 With older children, perhaps my husband and I could have put that off with a time instead of destination. Love your comment. 🙂

      • We travel a 13 to 18 hour EXPEDITION each summer for hubby’s work. Once we are there, time stops and we float through weeks of glorious time at a private lake , while he’s off working long hot days. Bummer for him, eh?

        The trip used to be brutal, until we discoverd the mighty DVD. Whether on the laptop or the little individual players, those babies saved our lives!!

        Now it’s “We’ll be there before Nemo finds his dad” or “we’ll be there in one Fellowship of the RIng and half of Two Towers”.

    • “The key to patience–keep a drawer full of clean socks.” Beth K Vogt

      Can I misquote you on that? 🙂

    • I MUST listen. I MUST LISTEN. I MUST stop the comparison demon from stealing my joy.

      Annnnnnnd I must buy a truckload of socks.

      • Beth K. Vogt says:

        Yes, misquote me, P.J. Just spell my last name right, please.
        😉
        Of course, I will try not to switch your initials around.

        Ah, the power of socks.
        And the power of 7 too, apparently.

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