Without a doubt, I used to be one of the most impatient people on the planet.
I’m serious; I really was. Just to give an example: If I had a dinner date with the president and got hungry on the way, I’d stop somewhere and grab a burger. It’s ridiculous, I know. And though I had the discipline to burn the extra calories, I was well aware that this was not a virtue, especially if I wanted to be a writer.
That’s why when I wanted to learn how to write a book, I went to UCLA film school first, which actually turned out to be great place to learn story. My dialogue got tighter and my visuals became more crisp, yet I was nowhere near the dangerous brink of querying literary agents before I was ready. After all, I had written a screenplay, not a novel. And while my end goal was to write a book about my father’s murder, I started out writing light-hearted comedy in the beginning. You see, the trick is to know yourself and work with what you’ve got, which, in my case, was the patience of an infant.
And once I’d written the first draft of my true crime book, I knew it wasn’t ready to be seen, but I still wanted someone to read it. Not an agent, of course, but someone who would know if I was on the right track. So I searched online and found an editing service that would let me set the price I was willing to pay for an editor. Then I sat back and waited. A couple of days later, I received an email from an experienced editor, who had obviously been deeply insulted by the amount I’d offered as my budget. I really didn’t understand why he took the number so personally, as it was merely all I could afford at the moment; it had nothing at all to do with him. But the whole incident actually worked out in my favor.