Patience, Grasshopper, Patience — Find Your Zen

Patience is a virtue

Patience, Grasshopper, Patience — Find Your Zen

Melina Druga
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Patience. So few people seem to have it nowadays despite the fact a lack of patience causes unhappiness and stress.

Patience is a virtue
Patience is a virtue

“Have patience, my friend, have patience; For Rome wasn’t built in a day!” author Gertrude Tooley Buckingham said in Patience. “You wear yourself out for nothing In many and many a way! Why are you nervous and fretty When things do not move along fast; Why let yourself get excited Over things that will soon be past?”

In my profession, I see it often. Both clients and writers exhibit impatience, and both groups need to calm down. Here are ways each group shows impatience and how to remedy it.

Three Ways Clients Need Patience

1.  Clients expect freelancers to be available to answer messages, calls and emails at a moment’s notice.

Client, ask yourself, “Do I only have one customer?” If the answer is “no,” then understand your writer has other clients as well. Your writer is not purposefully ignoring you. He or she is busy working.

2.  It’s 5 p.m. (or whatever time the writer’s workday ends) and the client asks, “Could you write a 1,000 word article on … and have it to me tonight?”

In order for someone to do a good job on any project, one needs time to write, edit and revise. Being well rested also helps with quality and clarity. Requesting work on such short notice also shows a lack of respect for the writer.

3.  A client uses a writer on an as-need-basis. The writer doesn’t hear from the client for months, but when the client wants some work done, the deadline is as soon as possible.

Contact the writer and establish an editorial calendar.  Preplanning will save you both stress.

Four Ways New Writers Need Patience

1.  They think they’re Hemingway or Shakespeare just because they completed their first manuscript.

I’m sure in the history of literature, there have been some authors who were geniuses and immediately perfect. The vast majority, however, have to work at it. This involves things like taking classes, facing rejection, working with editors and, gasp, revising.

2.  They self publish.

While some people self publish as a means of rebelling against the traditional publishing industry or because they fear rejection, others have self published because of a sense of instant gratification and not wanting to wait to hear back from agents and publishers. Sadly, the average self published book sells less than 100 copies.

3.  They get upset when people don’t comment on their blogs, social media links, etc.

In our digital age, many people’s self esteem is contingent on how popular they are on social media. Bloggers, please keep in mind your blog is competing against millions of others, and so are your social media pages. It’s difficult building a readership and even more difficult getting people to follow or comment.

4. They expect to become millionaires quickly.

Being a novelist means you’re wealthy, right? Wrong. There are always exceptions to the rule, but the average first-time novelist will make $10,000 or less. And that’s for traditional publishing. Self-published authors can expect significantly less.

In what instances do you think more people need patience?


Updated: 26 June 2018

Most kids have an active imagination. My imagination has stayed strong into adulthood, and I’ve funneled that creativity into a successful writing career. I write history, both fiction and nonfiction, because although your school history classes may have been boring, the past is not. My goal is to bring the past to life in all its myriad of colors.
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