Like humility. Seriously, I worry that the moment I pray for a spirit of humility, I’ll:
a) plop spaghetti all over the one nice white shirt I own (yes, it’s happened);
b) send an email with a blush-inducing typo (yes, it’s happened);
c) accidentally wear my fuzzy slippers to work (uh, it's almost happened).
Or self-control. Really, the day I pray for self-control will probably be the same day a coworker brings a plate of double-fudge brownies to work. And I, convicted by my own prayer, will have to say no. Oh, the pain.
Ahh, now that’s a biggie. 'Cause what better way for God to teach me patience than to make me wait. Grr.
Patience is a huge part of a writer’s life—whether we like it or not. And mostly, I’m of the “not” persuasion. Just being frank here: I want it all now. I want an agent and a book contract—hmm, make that a multi-book contract—and the ability to stay at home and write full time. And for that last one to happen I either need to truly hit it big—like John Grisham big—or pull a bank job or marry a guy with a decent income. (Of the three, the last is probably the most plausible—and legal. So, men, step up. I’m nice, I really am.)
But in all seriousness, writing without patience is probably a bit like getting your tooth pulled without laughing gas. Doable, but a whole lot less enjoyable.
Someone—maybe my mom?—once told me that patience isn’t waiting. It’s waiting with a good attitude. And perhaps that’s the trickiest part of all: choosing to wait with peace and joy. The kind that says, “God, I truly trust your timing. And while I wait, I’m going to approach each step of my writing journey with hopeful confidence. I’m going to take joy in the small accomplishments—whether it’s a good critique or a productive writing day or an encouraging email from a fellow writer.”
That’s the kind of patience I want. And that, okay, yes, I’ll pray for.
How about you? Is patience ever a struggle? What helps you maintain a good attitude while waiting?