They are remaking the movie The Karate Kid. I saw the previews and have high hopes for it. To begin with it is set in China with sweeping vistas and wonderful exotic culture. Next Jackie Chan stars. I love Jackie Chan for his sense of humor and his physical acting. Finally Jaden Smith, Will Smith's son is the boy. I love that they picked him for the film. The visual in the previews is gorgeous. Instead of "wax on, wax off." If is now "jacket on, jacket off."
How does this relate to writing and what is the most important ingredient necessary to becoming published? Patience.
Remember the wax on, wax off scene was about the student's impatience with the mundane. Why, he wanted to know did he have to do this? What did it have to do with learning karate?
To create a publishable work you have to have patience. The patience to practice. The patience to edit. The patience to wait for the right story. The right story must have heart. It must touch the reader on a personal level. But it also must be clean. Think of editing and craft as the boring wax on, wax off part of writing. To be a good writer you have to have the patience to revise and practice craft until it becomes part of the muscle memory. In order to create muscle memory, you have to practice every day. That's why they say butt in chair will get it done. Long years of practice and patience will get you published. When you finish one book start another, and another. My 15th 500-page manuscript was the first one published and then only after it was cut from 500 down to 250 pages. Wax on...wax off.
I saw this great status on Facebook the other day- I regret that I didn't write down who wrote it. If you know, please let me know. Here it is:
A student asked a great sensei, "How long does it take to become a Kung Fu master?" The Sensei thought for a moment and answered, "With great patience and practice ten years." The student frowned. "Ten years! That is too long. I will immerse myself in Kung Fu. I will practice 14 hours a day. I will live, eat and sleep it. I will focus my whole being. I swear--non-stop. Now how long will it take me to become a Kung Fu master?" The sensei sipped his tea and let the silence surround them for a long moment then answered. "Twenty years."
What is the difference? Patience. I'm often asked, "Nancy, I've written a book, how can I get it published and in bookstores?" The answer is with patience and practice and the best of luck. Cheers~