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Welcome to the online presence of KaBooM, a writing group that has sustained the creative lives of a diverse group of women for over a decade. We hope that getting to know us will inspire you, too!Welcome to the online presence of KaBooM, a writing group that has sustained the creative lives of a diverse group of women for over a decade. We hope that getting to know us will inspire you, too!

Welcome to the online presence of KaBooM, a writing group that has sustained the creative lives of a diverse group of women for over a decade. We hope that getting to know us will inspire you, too!


The KaBooM Writers Notebook: Our Blog

Patience and the Tiger

Patience and the Tiger

Weigh, hey, year three is it of this novel? It’s draft number three at any rate. Writing a novel takes endurance and faith and the patience to tolerate so many days that look the same: the screen ahead, the softening hips below, the sun rarely shining, the rain coming too often, the snow a bore. Writing a novel is like rowing toward the horizon. No matter how many times you crank the oars, nor how many months you have been at this labor, the horizon is still far away, and the shore has disappeared. There is nothing to do but keep on going.

Now, as a somewhat creative person, I like to make things. But the course of writing a novel requires so much patience that I find myself turning to other enterprises in order to feed my need for quicker gratification. (note: eating is not advised as a means of instant gratification. A novelist spends entire seasons in a chair, and blooms but not in a flattering way.)

This winter I tried drawing and painting to satisfy this need. As you can see from the photo I posted, I am quite an amateur with  visual composition. However, the delight I got from using color to make forms on a page was exciting and soothing. It quieted the internal, impatient tiger wanting to be finished with this novel right now. It kept my tiger distracted, purring as if my the brush strokes were petting its fur. If you are at sea with a novel, it helps to have a tiger on board, as Yann Martel illustrated so well in Life of Pi.

Today we are roaring across the waves and my little creative self has had some play and is quite happy to be in the boat, and the tiger has begun to eat up all the chocolates and the ladies in the painting are losing it, but that is the way of writing a novel.

Comments (2) — Categorized under: Creativity,Lynn Pruett

2 responses to “Patience and the Tiger”

  1. Gail Koehler says:

    Wow, Lynn, thanks! “Patience and the Tiger” is such a smack dab wonderful wonderful way to capture in image what’s needed to push through to completion. Your image captures BOTH the perseverance AND the fierceness (the stick with-it-ness — that dogged rowing and rowing even as the horizon recedes — tenacious maybe is the word I mean here) .
    –I’ve never tackled a novel, but finishing anything creative at all reminds me of that room at Hogwarts in the Harry Potter books; do you know it? I’m thinking of the “room of requirement” — that secret room within the castle that only appears when a person is in great need of it; then the room transforms itself into whatever that person needs (“requires”), though for the magic to work, that person will have to be extremely specific in stating what it is that’s needed. I love it that Neville Longbottom was one of the people who really “got” the room, Neville who seemed such a nerd and so apt to experience mishaps, but who turned out to be loyal and steadfast–the truest friend.
    –it strikes me that by keeping up the steady rowing and treating the creative self to the painting, the rational self is being the truest friend possible to the creative process.
    –thanks so much for capturing the image and sharing this postcard from the engaged creative!

  2. Leatha says:

    I love the painting — and know so well how painting soothes the impatient inner creator! Love also the reference to The Life of Pi — the tiger in the boat. I’ll enjoy sharing this post. Thanks.

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