Waiting Out February

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February has Valentine’s Day and it has my birthday, so I should appreciate it more than I do. And it only has 28 days, so I should be less impatient about them passing.

But almost daily now I go out and check on the progress of my tulips just for reassurance that March is around the corner. You have to squat down (and squat is not the loveliest of words) to even tell that they’re coming up at all. Sometimes I brush my hand over the dirt to see if I can uncover a few more.

I get impatient about seeing things grow. Like the dead vines outside that feel like they’ve been dead forever. I’m anxious to see them climbing up the pergola in all their green, leafy glory again.

(Winter vs summer: I think everybody’d agree on which we like better.)

It’s the same with stories. On my friend Chersti’s blog a few days ago she asked about writing process, and I remembered how impatient I feel at the beginning of a novel to just start drafting. I want to see that word count grow!

It’s a huge flaw, I think, since a little more planning in the beginning would probably save me on the number of drafts later on, but it’s like I can’t help it. I have to write scenes, not just outline, because it’s in those scenes, like the tulip tips poking out or the buds on the trees, that I find the potential for the whole novel. I start to understand my characters better by seeing them in scene than by writing bios about them, the same way I understand my plants better after seeing them go through all four seasons than I do just reading the info on their tags.

This year I’m hoping to see my WIP come into full bloom — to a final, polished draft. It’s getting so close, and yet I’m still feeling impatient. Every draft I’m still watching for the signs that tell me we’re almost there. Draft three is due by the end of February, when I’m exchanging again with other writers as we did in September, and so that’s just one more reason I’m anxious for February to be over: because then I’ll have a new draft finished and be that much closer to spring!

Anybody else have patience issues, with seasons or writing or what not? How do you cope? What are you looking forward to most about spring?

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6 responses »

  1. Honestly, I’m not ready to let go of winter yet. The gray-brown deadness of everything, yes, but I still want winter. With snow, which I think is gorgeous. We haven’t had much of it and I want more.

    When it comes to everything else, though, I’m completely lacking in patience.

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  2. Move back to Oregon, friend! It’s green here all the time. Some ambitious cherry trees are already blooming. 😄 I actually consider the dry, yellow grass we get during the summer a novelty.

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    • I would love to! Dave’s sister and her husband are moving up to Portland in a couple of months, and I want to hitch along. Instead, the PhD program I want will take us in the opposite direction: Arizona. But thankfully there are desert plants that bloom all year.

      And I love cherry trees in bloom. How cool they’re already starting!

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  3. I have patience issues with reading. I’ll read the first couple of sentences, then skip to the last couple, the go back and read the middle. I also find at some parts, I rush through (and miss lovely descriptions) because I want to see what happens next. Often I’ll read the last sentence or two or page of the novel I’m reading before even reaching the halfway mark.

    I’m better about not doing it these days, but still…I refer to it as ADD-reading.

    Also, I love winter. I’m sad that there has been no snow for me this time around. I’d trade w/ those East Coasters any day.

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    • That’s kind of impressive. I could never read that way, though I can relate to missing the descriptions. With books that I really love, I sometimes read them a second time immediately after I finish the first read because I want to go back and catch what I missed.

      And yeah, I love snow, too. If we could just get one more awesome snow storm, it would make February so much better.

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