The Power of Patience


So you’ve got a scene that just isn’t working. You tinker and hammer and outline and cluster, but it’s still a clusterfuck. I say you can either go ahead and write something you know isn’t any good, or you can let it simmer on the back burner for a few days.

The trick with simmering is that you’ve got to be working on something else. Otherwise, you feel like a putz. Did I say “you?” I meant “I.” Otherwise, I feel like a putz.

But that’s the thing about the creative process, right? No one has complete control over it. Even if there is a god, I doubt he/she/they/it has control. I mean, that’s part of the meaning of creating. If you’re creating something, then it doesn’t exist yet. So how can we know what it’s going to be until it’s done?

So sometimes we just have to let things simmer. Maybe it’s that ideas are sometimes like tulip bulbs planted deep in the soil. It takes time for them to sprout. Maybe it’s that a scene or a sentence is going to strip the bandages off old wounds, and it takes time to build up the courage for that. Either way, sometimes the best practice for an artist is patience.

Published by M.C. Easton

Novelist and teacher.

2 thoughts on “The Power of Patience

  1. I have to concur about letting some postings simmer. I oft times have a number of postings littering my desktop, knowing they are ‘just not ready to see the light of day’. When going back and ‘fine tuning’ them one will find that moment when you just know its ready… then again there have been times when I have gone back I find it deserves a quiet death.

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