Wednesday, April 02, 2008

A Learned Virtue

Suddenly, (there's that drat LY word again) I realize I've not posted a blog for a few days! My calendar gets tighter as the year progresses. A few more churches have booked me to speak and I'm preparing for a keynote I'm giving in Kentucky this month, and as usual, I'm absorbed in writing most mornings. I feel I've become a morning person lately ... God, forbid.

I received a request from an agent, just yesterday, for the first three chapters of Televenge. And while that is a very good thing, and I'm excited to receive more interest in my novel, I find myself getting a bit antsy. But something stops me and I realize, that like a tomato plant--unless you water, fertilize, prune, and hoe the weeds around it, that juicy BLT you love in the middle of summer, just isn't going to happen. So you do what you're supposed to do ... and WAIT.

This whole process of getting an agent is a lesson in the art of waiting. Patience, it seems, is truly a necessary virtue all writers either must possess or learn quickly. I did not inherit patience. Neither my father nor my mother had a great deal of patience in their early years. They've got it now, but I remember when they didn't. I, like my folks, had to learn patience the hard way.

It certainly comes in handy these days. But like my friend, Jackie, says, "Sometimes we have to take the ego out of our work." We have to believe in ourselves, in our product, do our part, then let the publishing process do its thing. Timing, chemistry, the alignment of the stars and planets, maybe that's all part of how things happen.

My point is, you can miss a bus because you weren't supposed to get on it. Sometimes, we rush around and go crazy because we're late for work when minutes earlier, a plane has crashed into the skyscraper where we would've been sitting in our morning meeting. Our car won't start and we cuss and fuss and kick the tires, then hear about the five-car pile up on the interstate where several have lost their lives. An interstate where we would've been at about the time of the accident.

Sometimes we walk where angels fear to tread. It's an old saying, but as I grow older I believe in the power of my gut, or my spirit, or whatever you want to call it, when it whispers to me ... slow down. Stop. Don't go. Wait for their call. Send one last query letter.

My patience may be worn, but it's not worn out. It's thin in spots, but it still holds together. I can't always locate it, but it finds me. I don't recognize it at times, but it follows me like a shadow. My patience is as dear to me as an old friend. As comfortable as warm, soft jammies. The older I get, the more I treasure my patience. It had to grow on me. I didn't like it at first, but now, I couldn't survive with it.

Patience. Waiting. Endurance. There are no better friends to a writer.

Blessings to you and yours.

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