A Patient Friend

Your genius is waiting for you. She waits for you at your desk like the best friend you will ever know. She is immensely patient and impeccably consistent. She is always ready to talk if you are ready to listen, and she loves to answer any question to which she knows the answer. And of course she is interesting. She never repeats herself and she always surprising. You love her, and she loves you too. But she is not the sort of friend who will commiserate with you over all your grievances. You cannot meet her at the bar to drink and complain about your enemies. She is unwilling to call this one right and this one wrong. She does not criticize. She does not think you are any better or any worse than anyone else. On all of this she is absolutely inflexible.

She is so inflexible, so stonily silent on matters of comparison and doubt and vengeance, that it can often appear as though she has abandoned you when you need her most. Here you are, feeling alone and unlovable, and the very person you would most like to hear form has gone suddenly and utterly silent. How is that love?

Remember that she is only silent because she has absolutely nothing to say about your fear and your jealousy and your doubt. You are speaking in a foreign language when you ask her about these things. She only understands what you love. She is the world’s foremost authority on this subject. She could go on and on and on about it if you’d let her.

But it is all right if you don’t let her go on and on. It is all right if you want to complain and compare for a while. She isn’t going anywhere. She has nothing else to do. She lives exclusively for the opportunity to chat with you, it is her only pleasure, and she will wait as long as it takes for you to remember what you truly sound like.


Write Within Yourself: An Author's Companion. "A book to keep nearby whenever your writer's spirit needs feeding." Deb Caletti.

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