The Adventures of a Freelance Writer and Editor

Patience is a Virtue

We have all heard the saying, “Patience is a virtue,” but what exactly is impatience? Personally, I think impatience is an excessive amount of determination. I want to finish a project now. I want to be successful now. I want to achieve my goals now. Even though I’m being impatient, I have good intentions.

The first part of this week, I convinced myself that my impatience is actually a positive quality called determination, but by the end of the week, I realized how detrimental this “quality” can be. I started the week determined to be productive and successful. I set goals of how many potential clients to contact and how much money I would like to make this month. By the middle of the week, I was not seeing the results I wanted. I wanted clients to give me projects now. I wanted to reach my goal  now. I wanted to feel like a full-time professional writer now.

Instead, I felt stressed, frustrated, and scared. The more impatient I got, the less motivation I had. Suddenly, I went from determined writer to doubtful writer. I feared I would never get enough work to be full-time. I feared that no one would hire because I am inexperienced. Worst of all, I feared that I would never be able to say “I am a full-time professional writer.”

I needed some motivation and quick, so I decided take a day off. In terms of achieving my goals, this sounds counterintuitive, but it was actually beneficial. 

Yesterday I spent the day substitute teaching in a second grade classroom instead of writing. I spent all day with kids instead of with my computer. After work, I took myself out to dinner and went shopping. I refused to let myself think about my writing career. At first I felt guilty. I should be contacting potential clients not reading stories with 2nd grades, but this morning, I woke up refreshed and optimistic.

I spent the morning contacting potential clients and working on a grant application. By this afternoon, I landed a new project with A Garden Party. Once again, I am motivated and excited about by writing career. I guess, all I needed was a little patience.

How do you stay motivated? What do you do when  you find yourself losing hope and becoming impatient?

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