Saturday, April 10, 2010

Learning Patience

By Keith Fisher

I’m a little late posting my blog this week because I’ve been cooking at the Dutch oven convention. If you didn’t know, it’s Mecca for camp cooks. I’ll be posting a blog about it at The Camp Cook in Your Backyard, blog.

Last week, I attended a Church meeting on Saturday night. For those of you who don’t know, The LDS Church holds a semi-annual general conference broadcast. As part of that conference, there is a Saturday night meeting. It’s broadcast to certain chapels and universities. Of course you can get it on the Internet in real time.

Anyway, in the meeting, Elder Uchtdorf of the First Presidency, spoke about being patient. It was a wonderful message and spoke to my heart. It helped me to come to grips with waiting on the Lord. I know he will bless me with answers to prayers, but I must be patient and continue working, doing my part.

The message he gave can help struggling, authors in their quest for success, but that’s not what I want to write about today.

As I said, I was in a public place packed with people. The parking lot was also full, and I had the opportunity to leave early, but didn’t. In the stake center where I attended the meeting, they turn most of the lights off to avoid the shadow they so they cast on the projection screen. As a writer I like to take notes, and if I can’t see my notebook . . . well, you get the idea. I sat through the meeting in the foyer.

It’s a better seat anyway. You can’t see the speakers, but the sofa is more comfortable. I was taking notes, toward the end, when I suddenly got an idea for a scene in my book. I began to write it, but interrupted myself to listen to the Prophet. I went right back to my scene when he finished. I sat in the foyer long after the rush of people left the building.

When I finally left, cars were backed up in the parking lot. I started my truck to run the heater, and went back to writing under a street lamp.

I wrote until I had finished my draft, looked up, and the parking lot was almost empty. I was able to drive home at my leisure, with no traffic jams.

I reflected on Elder Uchtdorf’s talk, and smiled when I thought of another way to look at his subject. Many writers carry notebooks, or some other way to capture our thoughts. A lot of writing gets done away from the writing desk. I run away to write all the time, myself. But I’ve never thought about using down time in the car. Think of how liberating it could be after a ball game, concert, or other major event. To wait for traffic, while putting in your writing time.

Just think of the stress relief. Of course, this strategy could cause even more problems if the kids in your car are in a hurry. I recommend installing a back seat DVD player. :)

So, when you’re alone, and traffic is heavy. Pull to the side of the road, preferably under a shade tree. Draft that scene, write that article, or a letter. I bet you’ll find peace that only comes from the endorphins of writing. I also think you’ll realize you haven’t lost anymore time than if you had waited in traffic, with anger rising, to get your turn to go.

I’m going to learn to be patient. I’ll follow the council of my leaders and get some writing done at the same time. Good luck with your writing—see you next week.


kelly miller said...

I have always been one to take notes... that's how I remember things. I went from that to taking notes from written material- to poetry writing. I write while walking, driving in traffic, long lines, during lunch. I find beginnings of things from who knows when and finish them...That is why I started a blog to keep track of them.
But, a book with characters- I just can't comprehend how it all comes together. And, how you have the patience!
Thanks for writing this. I like to follow this site.

L.T. Elliot said...

Some of my favorite scenes have been written while waiting to pick up my kids from school. Notebooks are life-savers!

Again, a wonderful post, Keith. =]

G. Parker said...

good post! I like the idea of waiting for traffic to thin. Hadn't thought of that one. ;)

min6919 said...
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Anonymous said...

I'm in a sales job that keeps me on the road many hours out of my day. I tend to write my thoughts on post it notes and then stick them into my daytimer to deal will later. Many of my co-workers type in their black berry or I-phones. But, although, I'm all for technology, nothing replaces my paper spiral notebooks. Nice post.