So, it’s about time I come up with something original. As exhilarating and inspirational as some of these posts from others that I’ve put on my blog, I need something fresh. And as I write this post, a question arises. Why am I in such a hurry to write this? What’s driving me? And why should I care? A sudden spark of inspiration, sure. Fulfilling a desire to write, possibly. There are a number of answers, but they revolve around one virtue: patience. An ideal that is lost in our quick-fix, instant gratification world.
Why bring up patience? Well, as I’m writing this, I’m thinking about a story I posted for a short story contest. It didn’t win, but that’s far from the point. I wrote it out in one sitting on paper, waited a few days, and typed it up without combing it through. I was in such a rush to make the deadline, which was two weeks away at the time, that I didn’t stop to edit my own work. And the one person who read it could tell I hadn’t taken the time to view it objectively. At the time, I was so concerned with getting my work out there. I remembered setting a goal that I would submit a story into a contest no matter what. The problem was that I was so impatient that I didn’t realize I made mistakes. This one reader could tell that this wasn’t my best work. And in the end, I could tell, too.
Patience is a virtue that is rarely practiced. As I said, we live in a society that pushes the get-rich-quick scheme. Look at the media, specifically the video game market. Sports games produce new games every year, but there are no variations, no innovations. Nothing that makes the new game stand out from the previous one. Technology is another example, particularly with cell phones. Whenever a new phone is released, the pressure is on to produce mass quantities to satisfy the demand. As a result, the first few batches have issues and the quality doesn’t measure up to the hype.
Books are no exception. Readers are smart. They can tell when an author is trying to make a quick buck. This is especially true of newbie writers like myself. We enter the profession thinking we’re going to write the next bestseller. A lofty goal, but there’s no guarantee that what we write will sell at all. But we don’t think about the what if, at least not dwell on it. We want to keep our work free from professional editors and publishers who might tamper with what we created. But because some writers don’t take the time to edit and submit work to beta readers and CPs, their works aren’t the best they can be, or at least good enough to publish. Now if the writer is on a deadline, it would make sense to get a finished product out there. But I think because there’s a deadline, all the more a writer should exercise patience. Give beta readers a sample of the manuscript. Take the time to edit and edit some more. Send it to a professional editor to view mistakes that were missed.
I believe if everyone practices patience, we will be better for it. The things we want out of life will be more rewarding and the quality will shine. The same goes for writing. I’m guilty of rushing work out there before I take the time to read over my work and edit. Of course, we’ll miss the not-so-obvious mistakes, but I think taking the time to perfect our work will mean so much to ourselves and our readers.