We live in a world where we expect everything to happen immediately. There’s no waiting involved. The element of surprise and wonder has been replaced with knowledge, which is good, right?
I remember a time when I would come home and wonder if someone had called me. The wondering was fun, exciting. I could daydream about what the conversation would have been like if I had been home to answer the phone. Maybe he called a hundred times. Maybe just once. He could have without any embarrassment because I wouldn’t have known any better. Those were the days before caller ID.
Not so much today. We know exactly how many times someone has called because we check the caller ID. We know the exact times. We know if they left a message. We know everything. But where is the wonder? Where is the excitement in knowing?
We live in a time of instant gratification. We want everything and we want it now. People don’t chat in the checkout line because the customers stomp their feet in protest of having to wait. Get more people behind the registers! Stat!
How many times have we called someone’s home only to roll our eyes when they don’t answer? How could they not be there? We immediately call their cell phones. Still no answer? Send them a text message. Find out if they’re on Facebook. Where could they be? It’s been a whole three minutes!
Writing is the same way nowadays. We want our stories published and we want it done today. What happened to the times when we waited it out? When we waited for our stories to reach a standard that deserved to be published?
I’m just as guilty as the next person. I want my stories published, and I want those books on the shelves immediately. But am I truly ready? Granted, I have only sent out one query in the last year, but I still expect someone to arrive on my doorstep with a gigantic check, roses and champagne, telling me that my books are the best out there.
I love to write. I love to create stories in my mind and see them on paper or the computer screen. I love my characters, and they become real to me. But, I gyp them. I create them and love them and wish the best for them, and then I send them on their merry way, far away from me. I certainly don’t like to fix their problems. I don’t like to see the holes in the story. Let’s face it. I don’t like to revise.
Some masochists out there love to get down and dirty and completely restructure their stories. Some decide to even switch the POV or even move from a first person narrative to the third person. I can’t stand these people.
I’m only partly joking. Those are the people who stick with their story and see their characters through their problems together. I’m jealous. That’s the simple truth.
Part of the problem is wanting to get published right away. And so I give up on the book I just finished and start another one because it’s much easier for me to create new characters and fresh problems than to fix the ones in unrevised books.
Because we want everything immediately. We want things to be easy. Life shouldn’t be hard. It shouldn’t be complicated. But isn’t making it to the goal more exciting when we hurdle the obstacles?
It’s sad, really. How much are we missing in a world where we have everything at our fingertips? There’s no time to relax. There’s no time to appreciate life and the world around us because we’re too busy texting someone who hasn’t bothered to call us back after two minutes. We’re too busy complaining about standing in line with three other people to appreciate getting to know a stranger. Maybe that stranger would have become a friend in another time. A less hectic time. A time where we might have been content to wait together.