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, November 4, 2013

Waiting: Acquiring Patience Through Metaphors - Part Two

Before I was so rudely interrupted by an angry gallbladder...

I was sharing lessons on how to be patient, something that as writers, we need to acquire. You can check out the first installment HERE.  It's about how jigsaw puzzles can be used as a means to acquiring patience.

The writing business takes time, nothing gets done quickly, except maybe that moment when a brilliant idea explodes in your brain.

Waiting in line
My first experience of having to be truly patient came with my first visit to Disneyland back in the early '80s. I was with a group of kids. Granted they were teenagers, but still they were not particularly patience.

Oh, those long, long lines!
But I noticed something. We were kept moving, our feet shuffled along at a regular, steady pace. I pointed this out to my frustrated teens who were ready to give up. Once they realized they weren’t standing still, that they were actually moving, they began to relax. They even go to point where they were able to notice things around them rather than being stuck on themselves. They were able to talk and laugh and not complain quite so much.

The lesson I (and I hope some of the kids) learned that day was that no matter how long the line or the wait, we eventually got to the place we wanted to be and that griping about how long it was taking didn't get us to that place any faster. Better to observe people, observe the clouds, smell the smells, tell bad jokes, than to complain. Doing something made the time seem to go by more quickly.

Waiting in line is inevitable whether at the doctor’s office, in traffic, at the grocery store, or with a publisher. The trick, while you're waiting, is to notice what’s going on around you. It’s a way of distracting yourself so you aren’t thinking about the actual the time it’s taking.

You could spend the time scribbling in your note book or reading a good book. The object is TO DO something.

What do you do when you have to wait in line?


  1. Take advantage of the wait to take a breather.
    Unless it's on the Interstate and we aren't moving at all. That makes me a little crazy.

  2. I always carry a book just for such occasions.

    Driving I reactivate the back part of my brain that's always working on story, which has to be turned off to pay attention enough to drive safely in normal conditions. (I prefer buses.)

  3. We get into a mode of go-go-go and often miss life as we zoom by. Slowing down is good sometimes.

  4. I'm a total people-watcher and (embarrassingly) an eavesdropper, so when I'm in line, I watch and listen. It's fascinating!

  5. If I don't have a book, I people watch and make mental notes. You know, for that next character or plot!

    I loved your moving ahead metaphor--sometimes it so slow we don't notice until later when we look back at where we started. Writing books is definitely like that.

  6. I am like Barbara. Observe and listen. Get ideas for blog posts. It is a great place to gather one's thoughts.

  7. A good part of our lives is spent waiting, isn't it? I often read or scribble down notes for an article or story. Sometimes I'll update a to-do list, or make a phone call depending on where I am.

    Have a great week! Hope you are feeling better!

  8. Patience??? Say huh???? What'z that? ;-)

    AACK! I need more. What raises my blood pressure is people who wanna get off the same exit I do at the same time that I do. What'z up with them?

    I guess I'd better remember this excellent post.

    I hope your feeling better.


  9. Great post! I either read or people watch/listen. I try to do anything so I don't think about what else I could be doing instead of waiting.

  10. When ever I know I have to wait I bring my kindle- so then I look forward to it.

  11. A lovely post, Bish. I've been stuck in traffic and in those long lines, but unless I have to make an appt. I've never much minded it ... there's joy in every moment, in slowing down, and observing the world around.

  12. I started a blog post about a similar topic last night. When I'm having to wait I never seem to have a book to read, which would be a good solution. Usually I like to just watch other people, listen in on conversations, and imagine stories about them. If the opportunity arises I like to strike up a conversation with somebody. Conversing can make time go by very nicely.

    Special report today on the "Story Sprouts" book launch in L.A.
    Lot's of pictures in this one!

    Tossing It Out

  13. Never leave the house without a book/e-reader is my motto!

  14. Hi Bish .. patience is a virtue isn't it .. cheers Hilary


Your Random Thoughts are most welcome!