It seems everything that is worthwhile also includes waiting for something.
Writing, obviously, is no exception.
During my senior year of college, my favorite teacher told me she thought I should seek a career doing something public relations-oriented in the child welfare field. She had good cause to give this advice: I showed an aptitude for public speaking and overall interpersonal communication. Take that and couple it with my background growing up in foster care and my experience in community organizing (volunteering through speaking, hosting events and running groups such as a foster youth advocacy board and leadership club), and it definitely made sense. But that's not what I wanted. Don't get me wrong; I wanted to help foster children, but I didn't want that to be my career at the time. To me, it seemed I could continue volunteering throughout my life and have a career in something else.
I wanted to be a writer.
Although I had been accepted to a journalism internship program in Washington, D.C. for that upcoming summer, I still thought my chances of becoming a journalist or author seemed pretty bleak. I knew writing isn't an easy business to get into. And so did my teacher. She told me I was good enough but she also thought my sensitivity toward rejection might make becoming a professional writer difficult for me. And I'd have to have patience.
I ended up becoming a reporter and I'm still working on that author bit. If you can't tell by now, the patience part has been a struggle. First, your book has to be good enough that an agent will be interested. That takes a lot of work, time and, you guessed it, patience. Next, you patiently wait to hear back from the agent. I haven't passed that juncture, but I imagine the process is similar when publishers get involved.
Through writing for a newspaper, I've interviewed several authors. They all are convinced that if you're any good, you're book will get published one day. Even if that day is years or even decades from now. Outside of interviews, I know a couple of authors who say the same thing. They say I have to just keep at it, keep working. They believe in me and, finally, I am beginning to believe in myself. I know I must be patient.