Friday, September 26, 2014

Practicing Patience

By: Emma Lister

You know that moment when you’re standing in line at the grocery store and you’re about ready to lose your cool; it’s late, you worked this morning, had two classes, raced through the grocery store and blindly picked out food for the week to avoid the line, still have to finish a paper due tomorrow, and the person in front of you is moving at a snail’s pace – moving one item from the cart to the counter at a time.  This is the express lane.  Let’s MOVE IT.

If you think about, the two to three minutes you are actually delayed has very little impact on your overall day.  It’s more the feeling of slowing down and wasting time than the actual snail-like pace of your fellow grocery store patron.  What’s more, you are the one who allowed yourself to get all worked up over a box of cereal, three oranges, and a loaf of bread.

Writing a paper can work in the same way.  There’s often a feeling of urgency when you write a paper.  This has to get done NOW.  Your to-do list has 12 items and this is only number eight.  Why can you clearly imagine the mucousy trail left behind the opalescent spiral shell of this snail slurping along the white and gray matter of your brain, but not define for yourself a succinct and powerful thesis?  WHY?

You’ve given up on patience, chucked it out the window and replaced it with a brown bag and a little hyperventilating.  Writing is a process; something that takes time to work through, whether you are an outline, rough draft, revision writer, or a just-get-it-all-down-and-look-at-it-when-it’s-done writer.  Slow down, let your thoughts congeal and your fingers convey.  Don’t let your negative Nancy feelings rush and overwhelm you.  Practice patience.

1 comment:

  1. A great reminder for all writers, Emma. Love that mental image of the slurping snail!
    - Anne Shiell, writing instructor and coordinator of social media resources, Walden University Writing Center