I never was one for patience. Ask my husband. He’ll tell you about the time I had three kids in 14 months; when I tossed everything in the laundry and turned it all pink; when I served the raw chicken…And here I am, checking my book’s page every three minutes and wondering when I’ll get a review or hit the bestseller list.
Thank goodness I have a job, right?
So if I’m so impatient, how did I ever finish the book? I wonder myself. I tend to start things – and finish them. I just did an interview where one question was: “How can I become a writer?” I answered, “Write, write, write and read, read, read”, but I could have said “Write and finish what you start.” It never gets easier. It never goes faster. Sometimes you write yourself into a dead end. Then you have to unravel the story – sort of like knitting, and start again. Sometimes you forget what the story was supposed to be about, and you have to spend hours cutting out what doesn’t matter – like pruning dead wood off a tree. It’s never a smooth journey. It’s often frustrating. And when the book is done and published – you’ll always find the odd typo or mistake that got passed up. You shrug and try not to think about it too much. And when the book is for sale you wait for the readers to chime in. You listen for an echo of the book. That’s the impatience part. The part I’m not good at.
Here I am in St Thomas – I must be all of fifteen. I’m standing on the terrace of Frenchman’s reef. My best friend Debbie took the picture. I was still in highschool, impatient to graduate and leave the island. What I didn’t know then – what I know now – is that you never leave anything behind. It’s all there following you, so you might as well slow down, take your time. Make every minute count. Feel the sun on your shoulders, the Tradewind in your hair, smell the coconut suntan cream. Don’t be impatient. (Excuse me while I pop over to Amazon to check my stats…)