Patience is a Virtue…isn’t it?

Hello, friends, and welcome to a glimpse inside my head. Are you scared yet?

You know how everyone had a word of the year? Okay, maybe not everyone, but lots of people start off the new year with a guiding word, something that will encapsulate all they desire to achieve. It may be PEACE or JOY or CONTENTMENT. Whatever a person chooses, it’s the ideal he or she is striving for. I love the idea of a guiding word or phrase.

Usually, as I consider the new, fresh year before me, a word or phrase comes to me. But this year….nada. I thought. I prayed. I looked for signs around me. But nothing other than repeated suggestions for shows to watch on Netflix seemed to crop up over and over. I mean, I don’t think Birdbox can be my word for the year. So I waited.

And waited.

And waited. Still, nothing appeared. So as I approached mid-January, a time where I meet with my goal setting group, I declared I would have to come up with something. So I just scribbled down something about looking for signs and being willing to follow them because it sounded better than “I got nothing for 2019.” My goal-setting group of writing friends nodded as if that would work. Hey, it’s my guiding motto, my mission statement, my bag, baby. Who were they to stomp on it and tell me it wasn’t going to happen? Yet, inside I knew that what I had declared as my mission statement for 2019 wasn’t really my mission statement. It was like copying the encyclopedia for your homework assignment because some words (even plagiarized) are better than not handing anything in.

So as I faced a busy writing year – I have a full-length contracted novel and two novellas to complete, along with revisions on last years manuscripts – I started humming a song. “Every day I’m hustling” and then I would do that “do, do, do, do, do, dododo, do to do ta do” things afterwards and dance a bit in my seat. Hustling. That’s a good word.

But it’s opposite what I got when I was tried so hard to find my word- silence.

I don’t know about many of you, but patience is not my strong suit. I want it now. Success, strong book sales, my cover, more readers, more, more, more and I want it yesterday. I’m a bit like the ocean – I just keep coming, wearing everyone down. It’s not a great quality, other than I’m perseverant. So when I received no sign, no word to guide me, I thought maybe the universe was telling me that patience is important for me to learn.



Are they really antonyms? Actually, I think they can co-exist together as my words. Like the Odd Couple. There are places in my life where I must learn to wait. To let the manuscript marinate. To remember I’m not my agent’s only writer. To allow my platform to build the right way. To hold onto news, thoughts, ideas. And there are times I need to hustle. To not rest on my laurels. To seize opportunity. To do the things I say I will do. To wake up early. Skip the next episode of Outlander. To hustle.

So I have two words guiding me this year – Hustle and Patience. Weird, I know. So do you have a guiding word or phrase for 2019? Since it’s February, how are you doing on letting it guide you?

6 responses to “Patience is a Virtue…isn’t it?”

  1. Heather McCollum says:

    Manuscript marination – I love this!

    Patience is actually something I wish to work on too. I’ve been writing (to be a writer) for 20 years. I was first published 9 years ago. And last year was the first year I could say I was paid enough to make a living being a writer. Learning to have patience is truly the only way I stuck with it. Realizing that has helped me finally take a deep breath, sit back, and write without looking constantly at my numbers on Amazon. So Patience is a huge word for me.

    That said, what should my guiding word be in 2019? I love this idea of a guiding word. Haven’t had it before. Hmmm…


    Kind of a weird word to guide one!
    When I got ovarian cancer 7 years ago and had to go through 15 months of hellish treatments and 6 more months of recovery – some days, all I could do was breathe. But during that time, when that was all I could do, I noticed things. I took in the world around me – the birds and how each species flew differently, the way the leaves danced, how a house plant’s leaves move each day signalling that they need attention.

    Then I got well again (yay!), and my schedule picked back up, slowly at first, but it started moving faster and faster until I was right back at running full steam.

    Yes, this is good, but I also stopped noticing things. I was too busy. But with not noticing, I lost so much. Details about life and appreciation for all those little snippets of beauty.

    So my word for this year is Breathe. I need to stop a bit from time to time, sit and watch the birds fly. Breathe and take in life.

    Thanks for a fabulous post, Liz!

    • Liz Talley says:

      Breathe is a fantastic word, Heather. You have gone through much and that gives you perspective few have. It’s hard to be determined, work hard, and do all the things but still appreciate the little things and savor every moment. I hope your 2019 is a year to breathe and enjoy where you are.

  2. I do think patience is a virtue – but I also think there are times when impatience is as well. 🙂 I like the yin-yang of Patience/Hustle.

    I don’t have a guiding word – I was oblivious to the fact that this was even a thing – but the first one that popped into my head was PUSH. Keep pushing myself to be better. To try more and write fearlessly. Not sure if that’s the guiding word for my whole year or just this morning, but it’s a start. 🙂

    • Liz Talley says:

      Well, together we are pushing and hustling. It’s actually a good word, Vivi. I think we all must constantly have some push. Otherwise, we’d stay still. Perhaps at some point still would not be bad. But I’m with you – pushing boundaries, pushing toward a goal, pushing oneself is the way we reach goals

  3. Elizabeth Essex says:

    I read this post early this morning, Amy-Liz, and it’s taken me a few hours of reflection on your thoughts (and Heather’s) to come up with my own word.

    This year I’m going to go with ENJOY. Enjoy the day. Enjoy the process. Enjoy the little accomplishments and celebrate them, instead of focusing on the negative.

    So thank you for this lovely moment of clarity. I’m going to go enjoy the day!

    • Liz says:

      I love that word! It has such intention. I hope you do find such enjoyment in your day, week, month and year. Nice word!


Subscribe to the Blog

The Latest Comments

  • Lenee Anderson: Sorry I didn’t reply right away. Work. Yes, Major David Royce is the main character. He is...
  • Darynda Jones: Lisa, I did these yesterday (very quickly) but I’m not sure they are an improvement. LOL. If you...
  • Darynda Jones: What a great post, Vivi! Boy, do I remember those days. So clueless. I still want to write in every...
  • Elizabeth Langston: More things I’d like to know: The Major feels like the main character. Is that true? If...
  • Lenee Anderson: Oh, god no. They dislike each other. It’s a historical mystery with a romance sub plot. The...