Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Life Lesson #1 Patience

What I learned while catching baby possums in the house and how it relates to writing:


Yes, many people will say that patience is useful in this writing industry and I am one of them. There is always something that will make writers (and others) wait. And it's not easy, but we have to face the existence of nerves and the battle where patience is the weapon.

What does that have to do with baby possums (or opossums since it's spelled that way but I like using possum as the spelling) one might ask. Here is the story part:

We have little possums running around our house. At first we thought it was one that had gotten in from a little spot that hadn't quite been closed up yet. I caught it and let it go outside the house and the next day, there it is again. So, I did that three times; the third time was at 4 am, then that afternoon there was a baby possum in the house. I've caught two and used a carrier to drive them miles away from the house to let them go but we still have at least one little one in the house that I'm trying to catch. They are sneaky little things and quick to hide. I catch them with my hands, which isn't always easy and the real trick is... patience.

In order to catch the little creatures, I've had to spend time waiting, not making too much noise, for them to come out of hiding. A few times I would almost catch one so that I had to sit back and wait even longer for it to get the courage to come out again. Waiting is a part of patience that many writers face.

Writing often means waiting. Waiting for the idea to strike. Waiting for certain details like names and titles to become just write. And the big ones: waiting for responses after submissions. Distractions help a little but one can't completely forget as the submission out is always on the mind's screen, even when tucked away. 

I haven't submitted any novels yet, but I have submitted a few stories and poems. Waiting to see what the editor/publisher/etc have to say and if the letter will be a rejection or acceptance isn't easy. This is where being a multi-tasking writer helps a little. There are always projects that are waiting to be finished, so when I have a novel submission out I'll still be focused more on the other 10 projects wanting my attention instead of waiting anxiously by the inbox. I like to think I will be patient when I'm submitting novels, but only time will tell.

Part of what makes the waiting easier when it comes to catching little possums is the result. It makes my mom happy because she doesn't like having those types of animals in the house and it keeps the animals alive since the other option involves stepdad and a gun. I like that I can at least let them go into some place that could be a better home for them. Results are key because they make the effort worth it.

What about you?
Are you patient?
Caught anything interesting lately? (lol)


Emily Rittel-King said...

LOL! about the possums. No, I'm not patient. I don't think most people are. Those who claim to be are probably the same people who think they're humble. : )

Jolene Perry said...

Everything in writing is waiting. You send you queries and wait for agents. You send out manuscripts and wait for critiques. You wait for edits and cover designs from your publisher. You wait to hear from books out on sub. EVERYTHING is waiting.

That possum is awesome :D

I know, I know. I'm a dork. I do think they're super cute.

Susan Kane said...

Opossums were often carriers of rabies in our area, so we steered clear of them.
Patience--God has taught me patience repeatedly. And if He thinks I need a refresher course, He lets me break my ankle or develop shingles. Oh, yes, I have patience.

Dawn Embers said...

Emily Rittel-King - I've noticed many people aren't very patient. With me it depends. Patient with my sister? No. Little cute possums that if I don't catch they will be shot? Yes.

Jolene Perry - That is quite true. There is a lot of waiting in this industry. And it's okay: I thought the little ones were very cute too!

Susan Kane - I stayed away from the parents cause they might attack. Of the 7 I caught, not a single one was able to bite or scratch me. So it was okay.