Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A to Z Challenge Day 16: Patience, Persistence and Procrastination

Patience and persistence are two things writers must have.  We need patience for many things - patience with ourselves, our limitations, the things we struggle with, time constraints.  And then patience with others - people who disturb us when we're trying to work, people who make demands on us, and of course, people we submit our work to.  I've heard so many people say lately that when they submit something - whether it's a story, article, novel, or whatever, that they try to forget about it and just continue working.  I think this is really good advice, otherwise we could all drive ourselves crazy checking our email and waiting for a reply that might take weeks or months, or that might never come at all.

Which leads to persistence.  I talked in my D post about determination - persistence is very similar.  To make it in the writing business, you have to be persistent - you have to take the criticism and rejections in stride, continue to work to the best of your ability, learn, grow and make yourself better, and persist in sending your work out.  If you've read my blog at all, you'll know that I use JK Rowling as an example a lot, but it fits - if JK Rowling hadn't been persistent and continued to send out Harry Potter after continuous rejections, we'd have no Harry Potter.  I know I'm not the only one who, when you stop and think about it, the thought is 'I can't imagine a world without Harry Potter'.  Even if you're not a Potter fan, you have to respect Rowling for her determination and persistence, drive and ambition, and the fact that she refused to give up, and as a result, put out a series of books that almost everyone in the world has heard of.  No matter how discouraging and frustrating it gets - and believe me, I know how discouraging and frustrating this business can be - you have to persist, persevere, and let go of the pessimistic thoughts that might be holding you back.

I think I've got a handle on the persistence thing, but one thing I have trouble moving past is my procrastination.  I wrote a piece on it for HubPages last month and was relieved when many people - especially fellow writers - told me it was a common problem.  I'm so glad to know I'm not the only one!  Even though writing is one of my favorite things in the entire world, I will find almost any excuse not to sit down and actually do it.  It's ridiculous.  I'm very slowly getting better, and forcing myself to create goals to stay on track, but I have a feeling it'll never be something I'm completely rid of.


Today's P band is Pilot Speed, formerly known as Pilate.  They're a Canadian band that I was introduced to (literally) by a friend who thought I would like their music.  I had the pleasure of seeing them live twice several years ago and I got to meet them and get their autographs (my friend has seen them dozens of times).  They were really nice guys and they're incredibly talented, I just wish they were better known because I know they could be huge.

My favorite song by Pilot Speed - not the best video ever but the sound quality is good - enjoy!
"Show me a writer with a sad, sad song, who lived his pain, just stayed too long"

Are you patient and persistent?  Are they things you need to work on?  Do you have advice on learning to be patient?  Are you a hopeless procrastinator like me?  I'd love to hear from you, all comments are welcome and appreciated!


  1. I have to work on patience sometimes (especially when it comes to waiting on submissions), but I'm pretty persistent, and I well... I do procrastinate sometimes. lol!

    For patience, I schedule in my submissions to my calendar so I know when to expect a response by, and then I try to forget about them. Granted, that doesn't work sometimes... Oh well!

    Stopping by from the A to Z Challenge! http://blog.sarahmakela.com

  2. Sarah, how I envy you. I found the submissions process to be the most stressful experience. And, Maria, I procrastinate 89% of the time and, me too, writing is my favorite thing to do :)

  3. I'm a terrible procrastinator. Rather, I'm very good at procrastinating, which is a terrible problem.

    I'm fairly patient, but that whole persistence thing is one that I fall short on constantly.

  4. Procrastinator of the worst order, and am doing so now as I blog hop through all my new a to z friends ;-) Glad to know it's such a pervasive problem ;-)


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