Monday, April 11, 2011

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

I didn't always consider myself a patient person. And yet God's taught me a lot about patience over the last few years. To my surprise, I'm realizing that patience is absolutely crucial in both of my chosen professions.

#1 - in sewing. Sewing is fussy, finicky and fickle. It is necessary to move slowly and complete every step in order to produce a well-constructed garment. When I was younger I didn't have the patience for this and positively raced through projects. As a result, there were a lot more tears involved then were necessary.

When I was in college I had a part time job as an alterations assistant. Let me tell you, there is nothing to teach patient sewing better than working in alterations. Alteration work has to be precise, which means you have no choice but to take your time, otherwise you're going to make a mistake that will need fixing later on. Once I got used to this, it was like my brain was rewired. I got used to taking time to get things right on my projects, and the quality of my work vastly improved.

#2 - in writing. I've been learning a lot lately about how a good book takes time to create. It's not just writing a first draft and then you're done... you have to let the book grow. You have to take time in between chapters to let the plot simmer. You have to soak in life, grow, learn, and then bring your lessons back and apply them to the story. My first novel took me four years to write and I'm still not certain that I won't have to make a few final revisions. My nano novels (both of them) faltered precisely because I was going too fast on them. My current novel was started over a month ago. I've been writing on it every week (though certainly not every day) and I'm up to nearly 40 pages, some of which have already been rewritten.

Guess patience really is a virtue, huh? And maybe I've grown up into a patient woman after all.

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