“Patience is the art of hoping…”

“The keys to patience are acceptance and faith. Accept things as they are, and look realistically at the world around you. Have faith in yourself and in the direction you have chosen.”
~Ralph Marston

So I’m fairly certain that at times I can be one of the most impatient people in the world. If you tell me you have a surprise for me, chances are I’m going to ask what it is — and then try to guess when you won’t tell me. When an album by one of my favorite singers is about to be released, I always say I’m not going to listen to any of the song clips and I’m going to wait for the actual album to listen for the first time. I was adamant about that with Kelly Clarkson’s My December — and then I managed to wait about six hours after there were song clips posted (that was long enough, right?). It’s said that patience is a virtue, and it is … it just seems to be one that some of us need to work a little harder at possessing sometimes. And that’s understandable — whether it’s because of a curious nature, an anticipation of what’s to come and the joy that it will bring with it, or something else entirely, it’s so easy to be impatient. That’s okay, it really is — and sometimes that impatience turns out to be a great thing. There are other times, though, when patience is of the utmost importance, when we have to remind ourselves that good things come to those who wait and that anything worth having is worth waiting and fighting for.

This brings me to the quote I used at the beginning of this entry. Patience can be a very difficult thing to practice, especially when it’s in relation to something you want so badly. People always say that things are a waiting game, that there’s a lot of “hurry up and wait.” That wait often seems like forever, especially when you’re waiting for something you want with all your heart, when you’re waiting for your dream come true. When you want something that badly, when you’ve worked so hard for it and put so much of yourself into it, it’s hard to then just sit back and wait. It’s difficult to go from working on something nonstop to having to wait to see if that hard work is enough. It’s difficult to put your dream in someone else’s hands and to have to wait to see what their response will be. But even though it’s difficult, it’s also important. It’s important to realize that patience really IS a virtue. When it’s something so important, when it’s something you wish for with all your heart, patience is essential. You want to give it the time it needs to be done right. Sure, it may be easier to have that dream come true right away — but in the long run, it’s so important that that dream actually COMES true. If that means being patient for months (or years) on end, that’s okay. If that means checking your email every five minutes for a response because you’re so anxious (not that I’d know anything about that … nope, nothing at all) and then realizing that maybe you only need to check your email a few times every day, that’s okay.

When chasing your shooting star, when dreaming big and working hard to make that dream come true, it’s so important to be patient. It’s important to recognize that you get to a point where you’ve done your part, when you’ve worked tirelessly on your “baby” — and even though it’s so, so, SO hard to then put that into someone else’s hands and wait for their response, you often times have to do just that. So how can you be patient? You can do as the quote suggests — accept that it’s a reality of the situation that you have to be patient. Accept that it often takes time, and realize that that’s a good thing — sure, instant gratification may be nice, but what’s important in the long run is that your goal is realized and that it stays that way. Better to wait a little while longer and have that dream come true than to not wait at all and have that dream fade away. Accept things as they are, look realistically at the process that it takes to make your dream come true, and realize that every step of that process is an important one. We all want our dreams to come true as soon as possible, but if your dream means that much to you then it’s worth waiting for and fighting for. Never give up. Never, ever, ever give up. And have faith in yourself, in the direction you have chosen, and in the belief that anything is possible if we only just believe in it enough. Don’t let the waiting discourage you. Instead, let it encourage you. Let it inspire you and let it remind you of the dream in your heart. Let every day that you wait for that dream to come true be a reminder of how important that dream is, of how you will continue to work hard and to do everything in your power to make it a reality — even if that means being patient and waiting.

When I first read that it could take up to three months for some literary agents to respond to a query letter, I didn’t know how I would possibly have the patience to wait that long. This book series really is like my baby, and I so badly want this dream of mine to come true. I’ve never wanted anything more. Writing is my passion. It’s what I do, and I won’t stop until I make it a career. And if that means having to wait for weeks, or even months, to hear back from some of the literary agents, then that’s what I’ll do. Sure, the waiting is still tough. It’s really, really tough and I don’t think that will ever change. Sure, I still hope every morning that today will be the day I get an email from a literary agent requesting the full first manuscript. I’m hopeful that by cutting the manuscript in half again I’ll be able to spark an agent’s interest. Some agents respond within a few days, some within a few weeks, some within a few months, and some not at all. And yes, the waiting is still hard. It’s hard because I want this SO badly. It’s hard because I’ve taken this book that’s a piece of me and a piece of my heart and put it out there for agents to read. What happens next is dependent upon how the agents feel. It’s out of my control in that aspect, but not in the aspect that I know I’ve put so much hard work into this for so long. I won’t stop putting that hard work into it (in fact, the sequel — aka books five through eight — is almost a thousand pages long already), and I won’t stop dreaming, wishing, and having faith. I will continue to have patience and remember that good things come to those who wait.

It’s been four months since I started sending out query letters (and two weeks since I started sending them out for the revised, split in half version), and I’m happy to say that instead of checking my email every few minutes, I now check it every few hours (baby steps, right?). And even though I keep saying that I absoutely am NOT going to listen to any clips from Kelly’s upcoming album All I Ever Wanted, I’m fairly sure that’s going to fly right out the window within an hour of the clips being posted (so much for baby steps). You know what, though? That’s okay. It’s okay to be impatient sometimes, if that impatience makes you happy … just as long as you’re patient when it counts. Patience really IS a virtue when it comes to something that’s so important to you. Never give up on that dream, no matter how long you have to wait, how patient you have to be, and how much faith you have to have. After all, “patience is the art of hoping…”


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