If you’ve ever tried to pick up watercolor only to shake your fist at the ceiling lightbulbs screaming “I DEFY YOU UNIVERSE!” because, once again, your painting has been foiled and your paintbrush is permanently embedded in the far wall . . . chances are you’ve run into the key ingredient needed for successful watercolor paintings:
Patience for the first wash to completely dry before putting on the next layer. If you rush, you can end up with the water spots we call blossoms. This happens when the water from your first wash interacts with the water on your brush from the next wash.
Water from the second wash will push still-wet paint from the first wash around on the paper. Hence, the squiggly line blossom. (I’ll probably leave it in this painting because it adds texture, but normally a blossom can be a real problem.)
Patience readies us for the next step.
The same is true in writing.
We can hurry through a rough draft. But only time and patience will give us the space we need to cure a rough draft into a polished novel. When we rush to submit to agents or publish online, though we may not end up with blossoms, we can end up with a less-than-ideal novel littered with mistakes.
Patience helps us ready our art.