"Be really patient with your career."
Many of us are aware of how long it takes to get published. Even masters like Dr. Seuss got rejection letters. Even Madeleine L'Engle was asked to rewrite. Most of us realize that there is usually somewhere between 18 - 24 months between a "yes" and seeing your book on the shelf.
But what Jarrett was really referring to, I believe (based on the rest of his speech and the hilarious video he showed - see link below), was that a *career* takes a lifetime. Literally. If you, like me, want to make a living at this, then we must patiently wait for the right idea to spark. We must patiently research that idea, and patiently tweak the words/pictures until they are perfect. We must ride out rough patches in the publishing industry (ahem!). We must be constantly attuned for lurking opportunities. We must listen, with open ears and open minds, to what our critique group members tell us. And then, when we do get a yes, we must work our booties off selling our book, book by book.
I'm an impatient person. My iPhone and my Tivo and my commercial-free satellite radio all feed that impatience. Perhaps the universe pointed me toward a career that would balance all of that. I'm still learning what it takes to build a career. But I'll do whatever it takes, for however long it takes, to make this my career. I love it too much to be impatient with it. (Kinda like being a parent, no? :-) )
Now if you'll excuse me, I have a lot of waiting to do.... :-)