"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us." —J. R. R. Tolkien

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Patience

Random thought: Is it bad I have so much collective dirt in my gutter, an acorn fell in and sprouted an oak tree? OK, I'll put it on the list - clean out gutters.

My son got a Rock Tumbler for his birthday. So Sunday, we unpacked it, got it all set up for Step 1, and turned it on. Tumble for at least 48 hours it said. I thought 2 days would never end; the thing is so loud and obnoxious. But for good measure we gave it three days and went on to Step 2. I cleaned it out, and read the instructions. Tumble for 14-21 days. DAYS! Thankfully it's on the deck, and I only really hear it (loudly) when I go out there.
To deal with it, we stuck a bucket over it to protect it from the rain, and I told my son we'd check back at the end of May.

So what's the best way to deal with things when you need to be patient? I've noticed I'm WAY better at this as I get older. Writing in general requires much patience. Novels can't be written in a night (at least not by me). You have to have faith the pages will grow each day you work on them. But does being more patient make us more sedate? Would adding more of a sense of urgency help? Should we try to finish a novel in a night?
Wow, this is rambling, but I was thinking of a friend talking about his teenagers and how critical things are to them.

So what do you think? Are you more patient or less patient than you used to be, and what do you do while waiting for your rocks to tumble?

16 comments:

Working Mom said...

I am MUCH more patient than I used to be. You can thank my children for that. However, I am still very impatient.

For example, I go into my yard almost every day to see how my plants are growing, which ones are blooming, and which ones aren't thriving. I notice even the slightest changes. They just don't grow fast enough. I am literally watching the grass grow!

PJ Hoover said...

But at least it's fun for you, Working Mom! (at least I hope it is). And plants grow quickly this time of year. Especially weeds!

keri mikulski :) said...

Patience is getting better with age. But, this is the mental part that I struggle most with when writing.

PJ Hoover said...

It's funny how the pages start so slowly, isn't it, Keri, but they do manage to grow.
Or revisions seem extreme but pretty soon, they're all fitting together nicely.

Christine M said...

I'm definitely more patient than I used to be - like working mom - it's thanks to the kids. They force a certain amount of patience upon you.

As far as writing - I find I need a clear mind to be able to accomplish much. And there are days when my mind isn't very clear at all. Then I just have to wait (patience again).

And the rock tumbler. A friend of ours got one a few years ago - and she told me about the three week thing. Whenever my kids have noticed them since then, I've redirected them to something else. :)

laurasmagicday said...

Great post. LOL! Thanks for the laugh. Anyway I'm reminded of one of my favorite lines in one of my favorite movies, "Some times I get to do what I want to do, the rest of the time, I do what I have to."--Cicero, from Gladiator.

I love being impatient about my writing. In fact, every year for the past three years I've done NaNoWriMo [www.nanowrimo.org] and for 30 days I get to order take out, not do laundry and live and breathe a novel. I like the urgency NaNoWriMo brings. There is real power in a story having to be told.

beth said...

I worry when I get impatient with writing. If I get patient, I get placid. I do my best writing in hurried frenzies. When I decide to be calm and think about, nothing gets written for months!

...my dad has a rock tumbler. When I lived with my parents, I can remember staying awake at nights, listening to that darn thing chugging away twelve feet below...

PJ Hoover said...

Chris, I totally get this. When I have tons of other stuff on my mind, the words do not flow. So not good to have that feeling.

Hi Laura! You know, I think I'm going to give NaNoWriMo a chance this year! November, right? Just to get caught up in that urgent writing frenzy! Thanks for the inspiration!

Beth, it sounds like you're agreeing. Hurried writing frenzies! I like it!

Amy said...

I'm much more patient than I used to be, but I'm still not what you'd call at "patient person."

Though I do build a book slowly. I have to. When I rush, it's just a big, fat, hairy mess.

On the rock tumbler....um, why?

TJBrown said...

Ahhh the rock tumbeler days. I remember those. Actually I hated the rock tumbler. LOL
Teri

PJ Hoover said...

Good question, Amy! Why are we tumbling or why does it take so long :)
We're tumbling because at the end of our month long endeavor, we should have a handful of gorgeous gems we created ourselves! And according to the box, it takes SO long because we are rushing a natural process which normally takes thousands of years!
But still. Why?

Teri, I'm trying to ignore it!But maybe I should start thinking happy, kind thoughts about it!

Patty P said...

I'm LOL about the rock tumbler. My daughter received one for her birthday in February. Man, that thing went on for three weeks...what a racket. I could barely stand it. I threw a cooler on top of it then added a thermal blanket just to keep the noise down. And for what? The rocks were still dull--smooth but dull.
Glad other mother's have dealt with the rock tumbler madness!

PJ Hoover said...

Oh, the thermal blanket and cooler would work way better than the mop bucket! Thank, Patty!

Sheri said...

I find patience is good in real life, but not for main characters in our novels. Could you imagine if our main characters had no sense of urgency!? That would make for a very boring read... "Oh yes, we'll get around to saving Dad and teh farm, eventually..." Patience is a virtue in life, but a killer in a book... So, does art imitate life??? Not so sure anymore...

PJ Hoover said...

Really good point, Sheri! Patience is not something fun is it. It doesn't make readers hang on each word.
Love this!

Sheri said...

Yeah. I never really thought about it until your posting. And then it seemed so obvious. There are a lot of characteristics, in life, we need, but in a novel, are boring. Like infidelity. In life - not a good quality - in a book - interesting. Lying - stealing - binge eating - etc. It's like in a book we get to relate to the MC through all the things we repress within ourselves.