Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #72: The Rewards of Waiting

And sure enough even waiting will end…if you can just wait long enough.~William Faulkner

Routine Waiting

We all know about waiting….on lines, in doctors’ offices, in train stations, in airports and in traffic.  The mind goes numb and the minutes tick by with maddening slowness.

Waiting at Paddington Station, London

You usually have to wait for that which is worth waiting for.~Craig Bruce

Sometimes we don’t mind the wait…but quite often we do.  We equate it with wasting time.  It becomes the grist for our angst, our anger, our disappointment.  But can waiting ever be good for us?  Does it have its own rewards?

Waiting for the Cappucchino to Cool. Florence, Italy.

Creative Waiting

Waiting was a sin against both the time that was still to come and the moments one was currently disregarding. ~Neil Gaiman

There is another type of waiting that brings wonderful rewards to those of us who are patient.  It is what I call “creative waiting.”  In these moments, we are waiting for a creative “flash” or moment of insight, which inspires us to create a piece of music, a dance, a poem, a story, or any type of original work.   It only comes to us when our mind is clear and we are fully present even as we are waiting.

Popular folklore will have us believe that inspiration comes as a sudden “spark” or “flash.”  But in my experience, this isn’t always the case.  Sometimes, an idea takes days, weeks, or even years to germinate.  It sits dormant in the back of our minds, waiting for the right conditions to rise to the surface.  It requires patience and the discipline of waiting without fear, without judgment, without pressure to produce.  It also requires an open mind that freely explores the vast, uncharted realm of the unknown.

Creative waiting can bring us rewards and delight.  It allows us to combine ideas in new and unexpected ways–like this image of the street art of Blub.  It can make us laugh or cry.  It can astonish and delight us.  At its best, it can open our minds to new ways of seeing the world.

There is no great achievement that is not the result of patient working and waiting. ~J. G. Holland

Creative waiting comes with a caveat:  it is an act of faith and endurance.  It requires humility and a child-like sense of trust and wonder.  If we abide by its rules, it can bring us great rewards and moments of happiness that make life worth living.

Waiting for the Play Matilda to Begin, London

I remind myself of all of this as I work on my next creative project–my second historical fiction novel.  What will the outcome be?  Will I be happy with the result?  Who knows.  But in the meantime, I must have faith in the creative process, which includes patience, trust, and the art of waiting.

A very special thank you to Amy of our Lens-Artists team for this week’s “Waiting” theme, which inspired this post.  To read more on creative waiting, click here.

As always, Tina, Ann-Christine, Amy and I are delighted you are joining us.  Stay tuned for Tina’s LAPC #73 on November 23.

Have an inspiring week, everyone!

71 replies »

  1. Thank you, Patti for sharing your perspectives of waiting. Creative waiting your brought up is insightful, I will carry these words when I’m waiting.
    I love these photos. “Waiting for the play”– can’t imagine being there and waiting. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m so glad, Lindy. It’s something I must remember as I work on the rough draft of my book. Patience and waiting are essential for the story to emerge, but that’s not easy!!


  2. Great take on the challenge, Patti! Enjoyed reading your text – and thank you for the link. I had never heard of the term before, but certainly recognized the way to work. Lovely images as well!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. With me inspiration does come with a bang, the initial idea. It is never the fullest but something that does develop over time. My poetry arrives from looking at one of my photos, or a challenge prompt, then a flash, is written, then stops. Writing longer pieces is creative waiting. Things often come from the mindfulness of waiting

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Some excellent thoughts and points about waiting, Patti. I believe we have to embrace waiting. At times when we can’t do anything but wait, we can do our best to relax and think. At times when we’re busy, sometimes we need to step away and just wait for clarity, relax a bit, and then re-engage. When there’s never any time to think, we suffer.


    Liked by 1 person

    • I think that’s absolutely true, Janet. When we don’t have time to think, we suffer. I’m glad you reminded me of that. I think you’re right about “embracing waiting,” too. So much can happen in those periods of time between waiting and doing.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I love the differences your collaboration brings up, Patti. This is a great take on the theme, and not one that would have readily occurred to most of us. 🙂 🙂 What period does your historical novel relate to?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Creative waiting is an interesting term. Normally we think of waiting as in-activity but that’s not the case. Body at rest doesn’t mean the mind is not in motion. I like the Van Gogh – did you create that?

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s true, Sandy. It’s not a passive activity, but so much is going on under the surface. I wish I had created the Van Gogh. It’s by a street artist called Blub. He works in Florence.


  7. Wonderful photographs Patti. I love the Matilda set, it must have added to the anticipation of a spectacular show. Your thoughts on creative waiting make me think we don’t just sit and day dream much any more. We check our phones, emails and Facebook when we’re waiting, making ‘good’ use of the time. What will happen to our creative sides?

    Liked by 1 person

    • It was a fabulous set. I love how the designers come up with the most ingenious plans to visualize the play. It’s so true that we have very little down time and “pondering” time. More the pity, I think.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Beautiful photos – esp. love the airport shot. Creative waiting…I’m intrigued. Mindfulness put to good use when waiting is unavoidable. Being on the lookout for an interesting photo while waiting – it’s what I try to do 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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