If there is one thing I have learned in this industry it is that patience is a major part of it. For a while I was always in this big hurry. I had these ridiculous thoughts: If I don't finish this now and get it published the world of books along with the entire industry is going to crumble and my book won't have seen the light of day. If I don't hurry and find an agent someone else is going to think of my idea and it will be old and used. If my agent doesn't read this soon all the teenagers in the universe are going to stop reading and no publishers will want YA anymore.
Yeah, very productive thoughts. The thoughts and attitude actually led to a very unhealthy, obsessive writing schedule. I remember times when I'd stay up way past midnight only to wake up at first light. If I didn't get my book out of my head I'd forget it, I would reason.
It didn't help that once other people learned I was a writer their first question was: Really? What do you have published? OR Cool. When is your book getting published?
I've come a long way since those early days. Most of it was forced by circumstances out of my control. Once I was waiting on someone else's action, I no longer had the control that was keeping me obsessed. I could stress and check my email and worry, but ultimately I could do nothing but wait. And in waiting I have learned peace. I have learned that it's okay to step away from everything, to slow down. It's okay to take my time writing. I don't forget my story. And sometimes letting it simmer for a while presents new plot points and solutions.
I've learned that writing is not a race but an event. It is something, like eating, that must be done and when I take the time to savor it, I enjoy it. When I enjoy the act, I don't think about the outcome as much. I really do love to write and I'm glad that I have learned that as in many aspects of life, patience is definitely a virtue needed in this industry.
If you're new to the writing world, know that there is no such thing as overnight success in this industry. And if you aren't new, I'm sure you've learned, like I have, that waiting is just part of the process.