While standing in line waiting to be born, I was issued the standard grab bag of talents and traits given to all those about ready to enter the world. On opening it, I found devastating good looks, a rapier wit, rock-solid self confidence, a ballet dancer's grace, and infinite patience. Since I hadn’t been born yet, I had no idea of what use these things could possibly be, so I traded them to the kid behind me for a peanut butter sandwich.
Patience, one of the virtues I subsequently never had, is a great asset for anyone, and particularly for a writer. But it has always been terra incognita for me. I've always been a jump-right-in-with-both-feet-and-worry-about-the-depth-of-the-water-later kind of guy. I can’t go two hours without getting antsy to get to the computer to write. Far too often, what I do write when I get there is not what I hoped/intended to write, and I don’t have the patience to make it so. I ramble on (really? I’m sure you never noticed!) and the result ends up resembling the contents of a vacuum cleaner bag. Let’s face it, folks…I write the equivalent of dust bunnies.
Just as there is a difference between having no luck and being unlucky, there is a difference between having no patience and being impatient. Writing a book is somewhat different from writing a blog in that books by their very nature and length demand more time. But the impatience factor is always there. When I am writing a book, I can't wait to get to the next page to see what will happen next. When I finish writing a book, I can't wait to get started on the next one. And the waiting period between sending the finished book off to the publisher and seeing it in print never fails to drive me to distraction.
Lately this has become a major problem for me, since I currently have nine (count 'em...9!) previously published books waiting for reissue following the demise of my original publisher, plus two completed manuscripts sitting in a second publisher's pipeline waiting for release. That I am not the only pony in the publisher’s stable, or that they are working as fast as they can, means absolutely nothing to me. The book is written. I want a printed copy in my hand, now.
Partly because of wanting to avoid even thinking about my impatience with my publisher, and loath to do what I should be doing—working on my current book—because to do so would just add another log into the already existing logjam, I keep busy vacuuming these little dust bunnies from the many corners of my mind.
And dust bunnies beget dust bunnies. I am constantly bemused as to why I am so driven to capture and preserve them. Who, after all, can really be expected to care, other than me? If I were able to put down every single second of my life, who, after all, would have the time to read it, even if they had the desire to do so?
I guess it all stems from and goes back to the keystone of my psyche: my desperation not to be forgotten…not to be just another weathered tombstone in the incomprehensibly vast cemetery of time. So I gather me dust bunnies while I may, for old time is still a’flying, and hope that someone, somewhere, might see in them a vague likeness of themselves, and wonder who this strange man may have been.
Dorien's blogs are posted by 10 a.m. Central time every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Please take a moment to check out his website (http://www.doriengrey.com) and, if you enjoy these blogs, you might want to check out Short Circuits: a Life in Blogs (http://bit.ly/m8CSO1 ).