Can books make us more patient?

In Haste is back! This week, writers Alice Vincent and Charlotte Runcie speak to Rowan Hisayo Buchanan, author of three beautiful novels (The Sleep Watcher, Starling Days, and Harmless Like You) about teaching writing, learning about writing, whether writers tend to be dog people or cat people, and patience.

“There are some writers I see who write something, and it isn’t quite what they imagined, and so they throw it out, and they write something new. They’re not able to sit with the discomfort of it not being quite right, and work through to something they’re happy with.

“And then I see, weirdly, the opposite thing, which I think comes from the same place. Which is writers who are constantly re-editing the first five pages, because they want to get the voice right, and they stick with those first five pages and go over and over and over them. I think for most people, if they write the rest of the story, it’s much easier to figure out what those five pages need. But they’re so impatient to have something that feels like the finished thing. If they could let themselves live with something imperfect, it would have the chance to grow.”

Each episode of In Haste is accompanied by an original essay on Substack by Alice Vincent or Charlotte Runcie exploring its wider themes at

In Haste is produced by Holly Fisher for Hasty Productions, with original music by Maria Chiara Argiró and graphic design by Alicia Fernandes.

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