“Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself. Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections, but instantly set about remedying them — every day begin the task anew.”
St. Francis de Sales
“Never think that God’s delays are God’s denials. Hold; hold fast; hold out. Patience is genius.”
Comte de Buffon
“A handful of patience is worth more than a bushel of brains.”
Having penned my last post about my the slow progress I’m making on my YA novel, I feel impelled to write a counterbalancing post about patience, mainly because this morning, my wonderful dharma teacher Eileen spoke about impatience. In a nutshell, she described impatience as a form of grasping, a leaning toward something in the future that takes you away from the present moment. Thinking in a more extreme vein, you can see impatience as a sort of greediness.
And after listening to her, I realized that the restless feeling I’m experiencing about my recent progress — or rather, lack of it — is impatience. Instead of focusing on writing, I’m too busy wanting things to be better, different, done. And this is getting in the way of a more skillful approach, which would be to simply let things unfold in their own time and go with the pace that this phase of my revisions seems to require. In short, I’m “kicking against the pricks” as my mom used to say.
What to do, what to do? I think I’ll take Francis de Sales’ advice — he’s the patron saint of writers, after all — and have patience with myself and my process as it’s presenting itself to me right now. I’ll lean in, instead of leaning forward. Write on.