Monday, January 23, 2012

31 Writers, 31 Lessons-Lesson 23: It Takes Patience to be a Writer and a Mother

Patience is a popular lesson here. Author Allan Lokos wrote an entire book on this subject (Patience: The Art of Peaceful Living) and shared his thoughts in Lesson 5. Now, Hemmie Martin, a writer in England, is here to give us her insights on the patience one needs to be not just a writer, but also a mother. Please welcome Hemmie Martin:

Patience is like a spider on a web – it waits patiently for an insect to connect with its sticky threads, and it holds firm in the tussle of the battering winds. An old Ethiopian proverb states, “When spider webs unite, they can tie up a lion.” The strength gained from patience cannot be underestimated.

As a mother of two teenage girls, my patience can at times be tested, and sometimes I fail. But when I fail, I’m awash with unhappiness, and vow to be a calm ocean whenever I’m next tested. I have to be a role model of inner calm and serenity when the world offers only thorns.

The same patience is required when submitting to agents or publishers. I would send off my submission packages and wait for an email or the thud of the post on the doormat. Sailing the highs of an agent wishing to see more, to the lows of rejection, required an inner strength that sometimes evaded me.

The buzz of finally being accepted by a publisher still continues to reverberate around my soul, although the anxiety of failing has now rooted itself somewhere inside me. The publisher warns of lulls in sales from time to time, and I know that I’ll require my inner strength and patience to kick in at that point.

Just like a mother, I’m letting my ‘baby’ be seen by the world. Will they perceive her as ugly or will they cherish her as I do?

I have shown my daughters that patience and persistence has aided my move into the publishing world, and that hard work does eventually pay off. They are beautiful and intelligent, and if they can master inner peace, patience and strength, then they are part way to leading a fulfilling and wondrous life.

Hemmie Martin spent most of her professional life as a Community Nurse for people with learning disabilities, a Family Planning Nurse, and a Forensic Nurse working with young offenders. She spent six years living in the south of France, and currently lives in Essex with her husband, two teenage daughters, one house rabbit, and two guinea pigs.

Follow Hemmie on her website, Facebook & Twitter.

Her new novel, The Divine Pumpkin, a drama-fiction, will be published this May 2012. The novel takes us through tragedy and romance and gives us a deep look into the makeup of people and the reasons why they often do what they do.


  1. Hemmie - This is an excellent post. Writing doesn't come immediately. The best writing comes with time, with revision, and yes, with perseverance. Thanks for the reminder :-).

  2. Hemmie — what you have written is so true. Alas, patience is a commodity in short supply these days. Considering how rushed indeed, frantic people are today, I'm surprised much gets accomplished.

    But, indeed, patience is the fruit of inner peace, something else in very short supply.