Thursday, April 3, 2008

The McDonald's Mentality

Patience. Not a word many folks like, myself included. No, patience is not a popular word, even though it is a virtue.

In our push button, fast food world we have become a society of got have it now and you’re holding up my progress. If we don’t get it now, we go somewhere else where we can. I like to call it the McDonald’s Mentality. Or, maybe it’s a Burger King Mentality—your way, right away at Burger King NOW.

If you walk too slowly, people push by you. If you drive to slow, they get over, buzz by you and give you a dirty look or the finger in the process. If you don’t answer a question fast enough it will be asked again and again until you answer it.

Hurry up. Come on. You’re moving too slow. Get the lead out. You’re slower than molasses. How about a quickie?

Doesn’t anybody make long lasting slow love anymore?

So, what is my point to all of this? Let me see. Oh, yeah, as writers we tend to want that instant success. Where is mine? Why can’t I get published right away? I’m just as good as that guy, how come he gets all the notoriety? What about me?

Patience, grasshopper. Patience.

Do you see what I am getting to here or are you growing bored already?

What it boils down to is that so often we want things now and we are not willing to wait for them or work at it. Writing is tough; writing is work. That’s the easy part, folks. It’s the getting published that is so hard. It’s getting published that we have to be patient with.

We write, we edit, we rewrite, we edit some more, then we make out our cover letter, send the stories out and then. . . wait. For what? A lot of times a rejection, and most of those are form rejects. Then we say something like, “I just wasted the last three months waiting for a . . . REJECTION?”

Folks, it’s part of the business. Writing takes time. Writing takes work. Writing takes patience. I’m like anyone else: I want to get published. But, you know, I believe it will come in time. If I don’t get published tomorrow or the next day or next year, I know that it will come in time. I have to be patient and continue to work at it, get better at writing.

I’m one of those people that believe when everything is handed to you, you don’t appreciate what you have. But, if you work for it, then when rewards come, you appreciate it all the more because you accomplished something worthwhile. You were patient and let it come.

Don’t be in such a hurry to get recognized. Don’t be in such a hurry to get your work out there—a lot of times it may get out there but it may not be all that great and then what are you stuck with? Something out there with your name on it; something that you may not be proud of a year or two from now; something you will wish you waited on.

Nothing in life has ever come easy for me. Nothing. I have had to work for everything and every accomplishment. I can’t say that I am the most patient person in the world but I can say I appreciate the things I have because of the effort put into them.

I don’t like the McDonald’s Mentality. I don’t care much for the quickie attitude of our society.

I leave you with this: though the hare was faster, quicker on his feet, the turtle won the race. Slow and steady . . . and a lot of patience pay off in the long run.

I’m AJ and I’m out.

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