Blog Schedule

I post on Monday with an occasional random blog thrown in for good measure. I do my best to answer all comments via email and visit around on the days I post.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Waiting: Acquiring Patience Through Metaphors - Part One

The old saying “patience is a virtue,” is wrong. If you're a writer, patience is not a virtue, it’s a necessity.
Over the years I have gathered to myself experiences and stories that act as metaphors. Whenever I need to, I take a moment to reflect on them, gathering strength from their symbolism. They help keep me centered and patient. Perhaps they can help you too.

Jigsaw puzzles

1000 piece butterfly
As kids, my sister and I spent many evenings putting jigsaw puzzles together. Many of them were done by lantern light, so the color of the pieces was not what we'd see in natural light. I learned to find pieces not just by color, but by shape. Little did I realize the experience was preparing me to be patient. 

Each piece put into place is one less that has to be found. It is also one more that helps bring the whole picture into clearer focus.

2000 piece van Gogh

Whenever you start something big, whether it’s cleaning out a closet or writing a novel, instead of looking at everything that has to be done, look instead at what has already been accomplished.

As with a puzzle, begin by sorting out the edge pieces first. Make a to do list, get your basic materials together, read one research book instead of five, or clean up your desk area. In other words, begin small. This approach should help keep you focused on the task at hand and aide against feeling overwhelmed. 

500 piece Big Boy train

As each small task is finished it will become easier to see what the final picture will look like.

250 piece train wheels

My hubby likes trains. I did these for him.

Do you like doing jigsaw puzzles?

Next week Monday, Part Two: Waiting in Line.


  1. Yeah I do. It's relaxing to put one together. We sort the pieces by shape and do the edge first and then take it from there. One piece at a time!

  2. Puzzles are fun. Watching the picture come together is rewarding. And you're right, it's a lot like writing...

  3. Great analogy, Bish! Baby steps are important. They get you to where you want to go without it being overwhelming. Every step, every puzzle piece, gets you closer to the end!

    I enjoy doing puzzles, too! I framed one of three zebras drinking from a pond. It was a lot harder than it looked. Every zebra's stripes are different, but when they're side-by-side they look exactly the same, lol. It was a fun puzzle to do. I didn't glue it so I can remove it from the frame and put it together again if I want.

    Happy reading and writing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines

  4. I love the wasgij ones where the picture on the box bears only a slight resemblance to what the picture is. They're fun and relaxing, but I don't try and do them in one go. I have learnt not to give up.

  5. These are lovely and bring back memories from my old childhood. My older cousin and sister would tape them to brown paper when they got tired of them.

    'Whenever you start something big, whether it’s cleaning out a closet or writing a novel, instead of looking at everything that has to be done, look instead at what has already been accomplished.'

    Love this quote. I may ask you to let me use it some day.

  6. I used to do them with my mother and sister. We had a card table set up and would sit, search, put a piece in place.

  7. I really needed to 'hear' this post. It's hard to wait. And even harder to be patient!

  8. Doing puzzles has been a great family activity ... but I seem to be the one with the greatest patience and perseverance ... gee, maybe the writing has improved my patience quota!

  9. My youngest son LOVED puzzles at ages 2-6. He was brilliant with them. So I did a LOT of puzzles with him (til he said he wanted no help!). But haven't done many lately. They are a quiet relaxing activity.

  10. I like working puzzles, but I haven't put one together in a long time. Great metaphor!

  11. Hi Bish - I hate to say it .. but I don't like jig-saws! But can quite see what you've written .. and I know people who have jig-saws on the go all the time - often in a different room ... so they can spend quiet time there ...

    Great train puzzles for your hubby! Cheers Hilary

  12. It's kind of a running joke in my family because I'm the only one that doesn't like puzzles. Maybe it's a patience thing- I don't know!

  13. It's funny, I don't think I like doing jigsaws, but if there is one on the table I have NO self control. I must do it. LOL

  14. Patience is a necessity, writer or no. I mean, how about being a parent? Yikes. Isn't that the ultimate patience test?

    I used to put together puzzles with my family. For me it was all about the shapes. You know, that would be a fun thing to do with my kids again. Thanks for the idea (and uplifting thoughts).

  15. I loved reading this post! I actually just thought- a few moments prior to visiting you- "patience is a virtue"- lol. Following up with a post about puzzles is great- Stephanie and I actually love putting together puzzles, however, for some odd reason, they have to be Harry Potter puzzles- pre- movie : ) ~ Jess

  16. Great comparison.

    I like puzzles, but haven't had an opportunity to do many of them. I usually used them outside of home.

  17. I loved puzzles as a kid--I would do the same ones over and over. :)

  18. I hate jigsaw puzzles with a passion, although my late Dad was master puzzle-doer!

    Your analogy of writing and jigsaw puzzles is a brilliant one, writing *is* very much like that, no wonder I find it so difficult to plot and do outlines! I've never had the patience to sort small big by small piece. I want to sit down and have the big picture finished and done straight away! Oh dear, I need to shift my patterns of thinking.

    Judy Croome, South Africa


Your Random Thoughts are most welcome!