The Tale of the Hasty Curtains

Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet. – Jean-Jacques Rousseau


It is a terrible, horrible, no fun, very hard thing to do, especially for me.

I like to be productive. I like to see results. Completing a polished manuscript isn’t accomplishing what I really want from the top of the mountain. My goal is to be published.

Which, I’ve learned, requires a whole lot of that dreadful waiting stuff.

Why it’s important to take things slow.

Because our impulses can be very, very wrong.

Before you make a huge life decision, or send that “good enough” manuscript to a super star agent, my advice to you is to wait.

Ask yourself, what is the rush?

Let me tell you a story …

It was the year I started dating Mr. Right.

I was spending a lot of time at his place, which greatly lacked any evidence of a woman’s touch. My friend and I decided to give him a home makeover, complete with art, curtains, you name it. We had a very limited budget and one day to complete it.

Our intentions were pure and good, but the results were lackluster … not because we lacked talent, but because we didn’t take enough time.

Weeks passed. Reality set in. The living room curtains became known as “hasty curtains,” and that turned into a catch phrase for my friend and I. They were too small, too crooked, too quick.

“Remember the hasty curtains,” she’d caution when I’d share my latest article, or story I’d just written, chomping at the bit to send if off the next minute.

She was always right. Fresh, baby writing is never ready to send out NOW.

I still have a problem reining myself in from time to time.

* * *

But if you wait a week.

Then your masterpiece of literature might reveal its true self.

You can revise it. Straighten the edges. Expand the description. Take your time.

Patience is hard, I know that, but to do things right, it is necessary.

Give your work time to aerate, especially if it matters.

Especially if it is your next step toward the mountain.

No. Hasty. Curtains. 

* * *

UPDATE: I’m currently revising my second novel, ARROWS, and learning SO MUCH along the way. I’m really excited about this book! I’ve pitched it as: “The story of a lovesick girl, and the cupid forced to cure her.” An adaptation of the myth, Cupid & Psyche.

Follow me on Facebook or Twitter for writing tips and my musings about life along the way.

Photo by s-a-m

Check out Arrows by Melissa Gorzelanczyk, coming January 2016 from Delacorte Press/Random House. Visit her author site here.


1 JulieB February 17, 2013 at 9:31 am

I love this. We live in a hasty society. I often here, “that’s good enough, just give it to me now.”

I realized my life is simpler when I can choose deliberately and I don’t mind waiting for something better when I can keep time in perspective. I am sad that so many children won’t grow up hearing Mr. Rogers sing “I Like to Take My Time.”

2 Melissa February 19, 2013 at 3:30 pm

Hi Julie,
I loved Mr. Rogers, too! Kids need more trolley in their life. 🙂

I am the queen of rushing … and usually regret it. I think “take your time” is my motto for the year ahead.

Thanks for stopping by!

3 JulieB February 19, 2013 at 6:35 pm

I think “More Trolley” is going to be _my_ motto! 😀

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: