But with myself, none of these are sufficient. I become very impatient with my writing. I set deadlines---which is great---but become disappointed when they are not met. I become dismal when the editing seems endless or when others ask me why my book is taking so long.
But here's the thing. Everything in life takes a lot of time. Today, one of my professors told us that medicine is an art. We learn the mechanics of the art now but we will never truly know everything about it. I will spend years in school and training and still not know it all.
Then I thought about all of the relationships near to my heart. They took time to cultivate and require continuous effort. So, why should writing be any different? I need to be better about viewing this time as the essential practice that it is instead of becoming frustrated by mile markers.
Tell me, do you ever become impatient with yourself and/or the writing process? Who gives you perspective when you're getting in your own way?
When I am struggling with this, the one person who infuses me with perspective is Samir. He has dealt with all of my writing (and other) mishaps with a steadfast patience. Here are his thoughts on the process:
(And P.S. Check out the other significant other blog entries from Talli, Sangu,and Alex!)
About a year ago, when my beautiful singer-dancer-med-student-and-
...she started developing her first ideas. She is a very good observer and knows human nature and interactions more than anyone I know. Somehow, she could process all of this and call me with a new and compelling idea every other day. In fact, she could probably fill up a whole bookshelf of novels with her great ideas!
…the first paragraphs were formed. Though it sometimes required extended begging on my part, she would always send snippets to me. I would be so excited to read them and would usually call her within five minutes to offer my praise…as well as my ‘expert’ opinion. For some reason, she always patiently listened to me, even though most of my ideas were ludicrous!
…she would pull out her phone in the middle of many of our conversations. I would proceed to get mad at her for texting someone else while talking to me, and she would proceed to show me that she was actually taking notes on her phone about ideas for the book. I quickly learned that the best ideas often came at the most random times!
…I would get mad at her for not sleeping and instead tip-tapping away at her computer. Never tell an author (especially a night owl like her) the words ‘you should go to sleep’. One time, she even tried to close her computer, jump into bed, and pretend she was already asleep when I groggily asked her why she was still writing at 5am!
…the characters starting becoming a part of her life and a part of our conversations. We oftentimes discussed them more than we discussed the ‘real’ people in our own lives! They became so real that at some point I'm sure I've tried to search and friend them on Facebook.
…she started her 1st rewrite. And her 2nd. And her 3rd. Then came my ah-ha moment…this is why it takes so long to write these things!
…the phrase “query letter” became a normal part of my language. And I thought my cover letters for job searches were hard to write!
…she started hearing positive feedback from the first agents. I was so excited for her, especially because it gave me a good excuse to take her out for a well deserved night out on the town! No but really...there are few things that make her that happy (and therefore make me very happy!)
I could go on-and-on (anyone who knows me knows that brevity is not my forte), but will instead share one more recent revelation. Unlike some of the other significant others' posts that I've read, writing this novel has actually brought Saumya and I closer than ever. That makes me a very lucky -- and very proud -- man.