Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Patience Is A Virtue, Day #2-- Because You Love It
This is my Tally. I have one of those writer-things to do with her and patience week today-- you know, that thing where you compare two things that aren't alike?
Anyway, Tally tests my patience. I've had her for almost three years, and when I got her she was (prepare yourself for some jargon, here) pretty green (= untrained), spooky (=untrained), and barn sour (=untrained, and didn't like anything beyond the stall she had hardly been out of in five years). But I'd secretly been in love with her for that same five years, and when she came up for sale, I could hardly contain myself to buy her. In the year that followed, she grew before my eyes and patient hands into a calm, sweet, brave horse that I got quite a few compliments on.
Until we moved ranches. Moving Tally out of her only recently-expanded comfort zone was a death sentence to the progress we'd made. It's been over a year and a half, and I'm still struggling to get her back where she was. We just recently started riding again, and even now, last Saturday, I was all by myself out at the ranch with her, and had the bright idea to try and ride. No go. She wouldn't let me on. I've been struggling with this for months, and I feel, at times, like giving up because I don't know what else to do, and I don't feel like it's fair to either of us to be so frustrated.
But I keep trying, and I will keep trying, as long as it takes. With Tally, I have infinite long-term patience, even though my short-term fuse is tempted to blow almost weekly. Why? Because I love her. For those of you who aren't close to animals, or are indifferent, I hope this analogy still makes sense. Tally is like a child to me. You don't give up on your human kids, I'm not giving up on my four-hoofed one. (Besides, I use the term "ho" as my stopping command-- easier to say than "whoa." And it's a lot of fun to say, "Tally, ho!" A hahaha.)
Tally is also the last piece I have of Gypsy (the horse I lost at the beginning of September, for those of you who weren't here for that). She's Gypsy's foal (though not a foal anymore by a long shot-- she's almost nine). Every time I look at her I see a spark of her mother, even down to the little fits of attitude she throws. To me, Tally is worth it because she's family. I don't have any big plans of winning national championships with her, just spending time with her when I can, and keeping us both fit, healthy, and entertained. I'm content just being with her, and riding is the icing on the cake. I have all the time in the world to get her back to where she was, but I'm not going to give either of us a coronary pushing us to get there.
What does this have to do with writing? Well, it has everything to do with writing. If you love it, don't give it up, whether the manuscript will let you on for the ride or not. Keep going, keep spending time with it, even when it feels impossible to continue-- because if it really means enough to you, it's worth it, whether you're taking home ribbons or just spending your nights grooming your words, bonding with your characters and feeding your mind. (Did I just go too far? I may have. Sorry.)
I know this is probably a silly question to ask all of you, but it begs a response, even if you don't share:
Do you have long-term patience with your writing?