Teased Hair

My mother has sported teased hair all her life. My beautician says they don’t teach new hairstylists how to tease hair anymore. So when I need to find someone to style my mother’s hair, I have to ask if they know how to tease it. I found two in town: one is my hairdresser, and the other is the back-up stylist I go to when my regular beautician isn’t working.

“Oh, you mean, backcomb?” She smiled and nodded. “Sure! I know how to do that.”

As she teased my mother’s hair into a lovely, fluffy cloud, she told us that in her school, they had to spend every day for a month backcombing hair on mannequins. “I learned patience.”

What a great reminder that our writing profession isn’t the only one requiring patience. So, would you prefer to wrestle with characters and wait on agents and editors to review your work, or would you rather tease hair?

Your turn:

Are you more patient now that you are a writer?

How has writing taught you patience?

What would you tell new writers about being patient during the process of being published?


23 Responses to Teased Hair

  1. Stacy Simmons March 12, 2020 at 5:12 am #

    Writing has indeed taught me patience.

    When I first started I was under the impression (naively) you’d write a manuscript and find an agent and get published.

    Like the perfect hairstyle, the writing process takes patience, relying on another-Jesus, and time…

  2. Damon J. Gray March 12, 2020 at 6:11 am #

    > What would you tell new writers about being patient during the process of being published?

    Alean and I both say this is in God’s hands. If God wants this work published, nothing I do can preven that. If God does NOT want this published, I am foolhardy to force the issue. Thus we just “wait upon the Lord,” and he will “renew our strength.”

  3. Terri March 12, 2020 at 6:17 am #

    Memories! Oh, my mom loved her teased hair and Aquanet hairspray.

    I think I’ll keep to writing and waiting.

  4. Andrew Budek-Schmeisser March 12, 2020 at 6:34 am #

    That which taught me patience
    was time spent on my knees,
    for in zazen meditations
    I learned just how to breathe.
    The air is like a steady tide
    that flows in, whispers out,
    not hoarded on the inside
    but released absent the doubt
    that the next sweet breath will come
    unbidden to the chest,
    for ’twas God who made my lungs,
    and I trust Him for the rest.
    Perhaps I did not gain satori,
    but left behind my fear and worry.

  5. Daphne Woodall March 12, 2020 at 6:57 am #

    Your title was a tease! I had to read because my older siblings teased their hair. I may have teased mine a couple of times in my teens. 😉 My 80 something sister still teases her hair. Only time she didn’t was during chemo.

    One thing I know about hairstylists is they prefer to have back to back appointments. They lose income when they are idle between appointments. It’s a great lesson for writers. It’s best to release that submission to God and get busy on that next article, blog post or book project. Thanks for sharing your words.

  6. Roberta Sarver March 12, 2020 at 7:01 am #

    Daphne, I like your suggestion that we writers keep busy working on the next article. It’s no time to rest on our laurels. In fact, I once saw this, “He who rests on his laurels is wearing them in the wrong place.”

    • Daphne Woodall March 12, 2020 at 7:27 am #

      I’m preaching to myself. ?. My name pertains to laurel bush so good reminder. Thanks!

    • Audra Sanlyn March 12, 2020 at 8:14 am #

      This is a great reminder. I tend to have more patience in areas of my life other than writing. I think I take myself more seriously as a writer so I push more towards the finish line, forgetting that God wants us to apply patience in every area of our lives. Sometimes we need to step back, take a breath, and remember God’s timing is always perfect.

  7. Cele LeBlanc March 12, 2020 at 7:40 am #

    Actually, I am probably less patient than before I started writing because more is at stake.?

  8. Ellen Engbers March 12, 2020 at 7:50 am #

    During the whole learning process of what it takes to write and then pursue publishing I had quite a lot of patience. Any impatience had more to do with the general excitement of seeing what may or may not happen.
    Now, many years later and what seems like another lifetime, I need more patience with myself than anyone else. I have way more fears to overcome! I am relearning everything including trusting the Lord in deeper, more meaningful ways as if diving into the depths to find solid ground. So deep. So solid.

  9. Vickie Phelps March 12, 2020 at 8:27 am #

    Well, I do both. I tease my hair and I write. Writing has taught me that anything worth doing or having is worth waiting for, but I guess that’s true in anything we do in life. One thing for sure, if you’re in a hurry to accomplish something in the writing field, you might want to look for another profession. The wheels do grind slowly. But I’ve also found that when it does happen, it’s worth all that waiting.

  10. Lorie Davis March 12, 2020 at 9:04 am #

    I’ll tell you the truth! I’m more patient now that I’m a grandmother! Children, husbands and life itself teach patience (or nervous breakdown as an alternative). It tends to extend to all areas of my life, even writing. (However, I’ve forgotten how to tease my hair properly.)

  11. Linda Riggs Mayfield March 12, 2020 at 9:12 am #

    Ouch, Tamela! Patience is a hard lesson. The dictionary I consulted says it is “the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.” The Bible says it comes through tribulation. So I guess if we don’t experience delay, trouble, suffering, or tribulation, we don’t get to learn patience. Bummer. I’d tell new writers, “Don’t give up, but do give it to God.” Patience must include some degree of hope–a desire or expectation that things will get better, one way or another. Writing novels for the past 30 years or so and not seeing a single one published (yet) is teaching me something, but I’m not sure if it’s patience or resignation or acceptance. I am often reminded of David’s men who risked their lives to bring him water from a certain spring that was held by his enemies. When they brought it to him, he didn’t drink it–he poured it out as an offering to God. I often wonder what those men thought when he did that. When I consider patiently waiting for (and yet pursuing) book publication, I think of my novels as the water I need to be willing to just pour out as an offering if my King prefers to use them that way instead of having them be used the way I intended, at the sacrifice of most of my discretionary time for so many years of my life. It’s an ongoing struggle!

  12. Loretta Eidson March 12, 2020 at 9:41 am #

    I thought I was a patient person until I became a writer. Oh, my! Waiting to hear if my manuscript made the cut is like cheering a turtle across a busy highway, but then, the turtle might be faster. Ha! I’ve learned to move on to another project once I send off a submission and not keep stressing over what the end result might be.

  13. Ingmar Albizu March 12, 2020 at 9:45 am #

    Writing has not taught me patience. I am still impatient.
    But writing has taught me to slow down until I get it right.
    Great post, Tamela!

  14. Bryan Mitchell March 12, 2020 at 11:40 am #

    Patience… Sometimes I have it. Sometimes I don’t. Writing hasn’t really taught me patience. Sometimes, I tend to feel a sense of urgency as I write, especially when I get halfway through the rough draft. I guess it would be good if I learned to be patient with it, because editing truly humbled me.

  15. sara March 12, 2020 at 1:32 pm #

    I’m not fairly familiar with teased hair -although I have had my fair share of attending school with one of the embarrassing hair styles my mum would spontaneously cook up. And it was a long and sore experience.
    so, for what it’s worth, writing has taught me to accept my mistakes, but patience… that’s still a working process, I hope the spirit of our heavenly father aids me in.

  16. Edward Lane March 12, 2020 at 1:55 pm #

    Yep. Patience is a virtue. I saw you at the Acfw conference in Dallas a couple years ago. I think I’m still absorbing what I learned there from you and your best writer and instilling it into my work in progress.

  17. Susan Sage March 12, 2020 at 2:38 pm #

    The process of writing and all involved with it has definitely taught me patience. When I began seriously writing over ten years ago, I wanted everything now…write, edit, rewrite, re-edit, publish, like yesterday. Now, I’ve come to understand the gift of time: time taken to thoughtfully write, time taken to process, time taken to rewrite, time taken to leave the project sit and steep for a while, time taken to look at it with fresh eyes, time taken to pour over it with more rewrites, and above all, time taken to pray through each aspect. And time has become my friend.

  18. Sheri Dean Parmelee, Ph.D March 12, 2020 at 3:15 pm #

    Tamela, I remember teased hair, though I never did it to my own hair. My mother called it “a rat’s nest” and somehow that put me off it. I am a fan of pageant hair, however, and find that shaking one’s head upside down after one styles one’s hair, tossing one’s head back (and almost getting whiplash), and then spraying it madly can result in the coveted pageant hair look. Regards to your mother.

    Was there something about writing there? On, yes, patience, aka people in need of medical attention to an A++++++ personality like mine.

  19. Martha Rogers March 12, 2020 at 9:29 pm #

    I’m 83 and my hairdresser teases my hair every week. She also calls it “backcombing.” Patience is something I’ve had a problem with since childhood. It wasn’t patience I had with my writing. It was perseverance and prayer. I waited and waited, but God had the perfect timing and it finally happened. Tamela had a lot of patience with me in waiting for that first contract. I think it was something like seven or eight years. If we’re following God’s will and giving Him control, we will reap a harvest if we don’t give up.

  20. Shannon Redmon March 13, 2020 at 7:57 pm #

    Such a good post! I used to tease my bangs and hair to puffiness that could be seen from space satellites! It took me about an hour. Now, my hair takes ten minutes to dry. 😉

  21. tpomeroy March 17, 2020 at 12:27 am #

    “Patience is a virtue”, as i am told. Patience is a character trait that helps a person stay peaceful in the face of those who are disrespectful. As a virtue it gives one strength to move forward beyond situtions/circumstances.

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