I have never been a patient person. In the beginning, this made professional writing stressful and frustrating. You mean I have to wait WEEKS to find out if my article will get published or not? Yeah. For many, this never gets easier. Yet for some, it does. Why is that?
The reason is, possibly to your dismay, far less complex than you might think.
In order to develop your ability to be patient, you must practice being more patient.
This answer may seem simplified and obvious, but the number of writers who lack patience simply because they fail to exercise the need to be patient might surprise you. Patience, like muscle, is something that will only develop the more opportunities you come across that require you to wait. If you expect to get better at something without trying, I’m not really sure what it is you’re hoping to accomplish.
In the beginning, having to wait for feedback, for a reply, for ANYTHING, may seem impossible. Even working on your own novel or short story might become frustrating once you realize how long it has taken you to make progress. But the more you force yourself to wait for that feedback and those replies, all the results you do and don’t want, the easier it gets.
Do you want to learn how to submit something and, essentially, forget about it until you hear back – if you hear back at all? Submit more things.
Do you want to figure out how to keep pushing through the boredom and frustration we often experience halfway through writing a novel, so you can finally finish something through to completion? Write more novels. Practice the patience required to spend months, sometimes even years on a single story.
I know many of you don’t like these kinds of in-your-face answers. But I’m not here to tell you what you want to hear or give you a fancy app or technique to write more words. For many of the issues you are having in your writing life, honestly, the problem lies within you. There is nothing WRONG with you – you just need to take things one issue at a time and work through them. By sitting down. And writing.
Sometimes all you need is a simple reminder. Now get back to writing. :) And be patient. The words will come. The stuff will get written. Some people will respond. Results are often slow, but worth the wait.
Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is a freelance writer and an eight-time NaNoWriMo winner with work published in Teen Ink, Success Story, Lifehack and USA TODAY College. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food and nerdy things.
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