Words of the Year (2010): Persistence/Patience

January 5, 2010

Last year, I posted a “Word of the Year” instead of doing a New Year’s Resolution. I’ve never been much for the latter, but I really enjoyed choosing a WotY. Last year, my word was “Believe.” Mostly, I chose it because I wanted to believe in myself as a writer. And as 2009 came to a close, I could tally 2 upcoming articles accepted and awaiting publication in the coming year, and I’m significantly closer to completing my non-fiction book that I have been working on for about two years. I think and hope that in 2010 I will get it finished!

So, for 2010, I’ve actually selected two words. I couldn’t decide on just one. They are:  PERSISTENCE / PATIENCE.   To me, they have very similar qualities, and I think I’ll need a lot of both to get through this upcoming year – and to successfully meet my goals of completing my book manuscript.

I need PERSISTENCE to keep on writing, to keep believing (building on last year’s word), and to keep going, even when I get tired, discouraged, procrastinate too much, or begin to think that despite the work I’ve already done, that I may never get finished.

I need PATIENCE because by rushing my book to completion, I’ll set myself up for disappointment. In fact, rushing things will be the fastest way to doom myself to failure. Rushing and impatience would make me get sloppy, lackadaisical, and ultimately could self-sabotage the entire effort. I also know I’ll need patience to face some personal challenges and changes I’ll be experiencing at work. Since I’ve decided on patience as one of my Words of the Year, I actually have a lot more peace about the impending changes, some of which start right away.

Last year was the first time I had done a Word of the Year approach, and I really liked it a lot. As I was reflecting on this tonight, I realized that this approach actually is a lot more satisfying and nearly a fail-safe way to approach the new year. A resolution is soon broken. But a WotY stays with you, and can help guide you if you need direction or inspiration. You really can’t mess it up. Just Believe, have Patience, and be Persistent!

© writingreading, 2010

St. Francis de Sales Day

January 24, 2009
Francis de Sales

Francis de Sales

Today is St. Francis de Sales Day. He is the patron saint of writers. Therefore, he’s a hero to me, even though I’m not really religious and I certainly know nothing about saints.

He was a soldier, lawyer and theologian. The Catholic website says he “studied theology … while getting into swordfights and going to parties.” I love that! What a guy!

Patience is one of his defining characteristics – and for any writer, that’s a must. He also had great confidence in his mission, when others scoffed. Another asset for any writer, especially if you hope to publish.

Not surprisingly, he was a bit of a subversive. When the Calvinists wouldn’t give him the time of day, he got creative and wrote about his Catholic faith, slipping his writings under the residents’ doors – the first use of religious tracts. He was a very persistent man, and that, too, I think, makes him an excellent example for writers to follow.

Eventually, as his influence grew, he got a lot of fan mail – so much so that he often felt overwhelmed in responding to it. But because of his constant, steady work, day in, day out, he simply did what he could and kept going. I like this attitude of persistant, constant, steady work. I know I certainly need that in my own dedication to writing.

Honor St. Francis de Sales, today. Commit anew to your writing regimen. And if you’re the praying sort, you might want to ask him to be on your side!

© writingreading, 2009