Patience Is a Dirty Word!

By Debra MoffittCopyright, 2017

val verzasca perfect tree
Trees are perfect examples of patience. How long did it take this beauty to grow?

Or is it? My mind certainly thinks “patience” is a frustrating, pain-in-the-neck word. Patience, in a get-it-to-me-fast society is not something we’re encouraged to cultivate. But if you’re a writer, especially one who wants to make a difference, then you’d better hitch on your riding saddle and expect to stay on that horse for awhile to get to the destination.

A book averages some 80,000 words for fiction and maybe 70,000 for non-fiction. A thousand words a day can get you to a full rough draft in about 3 months if you work diligently.  That’s the first part, the creative, exciting, frenzied drafting part. Then there’s the rewrite. Depending on how well you’ve thought out the draft and how smoothly it came together, a good rewrite can take between three months and a year. If you’re a fast-paced pro writer on a deadline with a good editor to guide you, the process can be faster.

Then comes the publishing. I’ve had three books published so far. All fell into the It's Leave the Office Early Day(4).pngpersonal growth and spirituality genres. Making a shift now into fiction brings a whole new set of challenges. A new agent. Check. New books. Check. New publishers…on the way. In all, the whole process from writing a book to getting it published can take a year or more if you go the traditional route and if the winds of fortune bless you with happy publishing success.

Then come the readers. As I read more and more about book success, it’s evident that publishers expect authors to have a platform. Check. But when it comes to fiction, an author’s platform is our books! Readers become loyal to authors only through making a connection through our writing. It won’t happen before the book’s done. That magical connection takes place once readers discover the energy and feel of our writing.

So if you’re working on your next books, hang in there. Be patience and persistent. And remember Sarah Bamford Seidelmann’s quote from her soon-to-be-released book, Swimming with Elephants: “…things worth creating take time, love, and a big does of patience.” The Taj Mahal which took 22 years to complete was the inspiration for that quote. Happy writing! And check out upcoming Just Write! Live online July 8th to kick start your writing and Lake Annecy French Alps Writing Retreat October, 2017.

Copyright Debra Moffitt, 2017.



  1. Hi Debra, Poor writers! If it is so difficult, I will never start writing books.

    Besides: no mushrooms on Sunday, not brown nor yellow. But now it is raining and I ca > Debra Moffitt posted: “By Debra Moffitt – Copyright, 2017 Or is it? My > mind certainly thinks “patience” is a frustrating, pain-in-the-neck > word. Patience, in a get-it-to-me-fast society is not something we’re > encouraged to cultivate. But if you’re a writer, especially one wh” >

  2. Ciao Nick, looks like all of your comment didn’t finish. By the way, this article isn’t a complaint, but a reminder to self that it takes time to do good work. The last line says it all! Happy mushroom hunting!

  3. I have so many books in my head Debra, but no time to write them. 😄

    I hope one day, to start…and yes, agree, the process of writing (especially if research is required) requires a thought process of that flips you into the reader’s position on the rewrites. First draft is always just thoughts down in linear form (not always something that the dear reader can follow). 😄

  4. Appreciating your overview as I’m on that horse….and riding…and riding as I write my first solo book. It is definitely a much sloooooooower process than imagined.

    • Books have their own timing. They’re part of our growing and learning, and we move forward together with them — and sometimes at a steady (sometimes seemingly slow) pace. I help writers work through the creative process and accelerate with inner and outer work. Happy to offer a free strategy session to see if this might be a fit for you. Wishing you success with your book. Happy writing!

  5. Hi Debra, I love this post and oh it is so very familiar. I say patience is my “shadow” and have learned to love it in some cases as it motivates me to step up… buuuttttt in writing my book I had to learn patience and it has been a journey. Then there was the publicity piece. I heard after my book was at the publisher that the writing of the book is really only about 20% of the work – well, I am glad I heard that AFTER the fact! I have mostly enjoyed this process and boy have I learned a lot! I agree with the patience and persistence and also think a healthy dose of self-love is needed while facing these other two! Sending love and gratitude, Jenny

  6. Lovely post, Debra, and patience is one of the huge lessons of my life. It all unfolds in the RIGHT time, and sometimes we just have no way of knowing what that RIGHT time is. It is good to trust that knowing, and know that everything is moving (even if at a glacial pace) at the right pace in the right way! xo!

  7. Even while I am reminding my grandkids that Rome wasn’t built in a day and they need to learn to be patient, their grandma is the one who has made learning to be more patient her #1 self improvement goal for this year!

  8. Yes challenged all the time , was just talking with my cocoach about the patience lessons we have had and continue especially with my health. Taking note re your book, thank you xxx

  9. In today’s society we are not encouraged to wait for anything! So I loved this post – I believe patience and waiting on what we truly desire, are great habits to cultivate. Thanks for this

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