Sunday, July 14, 2013

A stern talking to self

Okay – enough is enough, Susan. No more excuses.

Portraits of Celina has been out for three months. It has been read, reviewed and reprinted. You have received wonderful notes and emails and FB messages, and you have done what you can to promote it: school visits, library visits, festivals, panel sessions, conferences, interviews and articles. You have blogged and facebooked and tweeted.

There will be more opportunities – and they will be wonderful and appreciated – but it is time to let go. To stop being that helicopter parent hovering over and worrying about your latest little book baby and how it is doing in the big bad world. Slash the apron strings, Susan. Let Bayley and Celina tell their stories to whoever wishes to listen to them. They are no longer your characters. They belong to your readers, and you must move on. You have a new novel to write and it is not going to write itself. It requires time, effort – and in the (paraphrased) words of Ernest Hemingway “you need to sit at your typewriter and bleed”.

Remember Shay? And Riley? Remember that image you have of them: torn, crying, bereft, but loving each other to bits? Remember Shay touching Riley’s face and telling him she will fix it, fix him? That she would never leave his side no matter what he’s done? Remember your blog post about Dad and those tangly webs? Remember that?

You have another story to tell. And I think it could be a good one, one worth telling. And, yes, it is going to be hard. Really hard. It is going to take a long time. You are going to doubt yourself and at times you will feel as if you are writing nothing but rubbish – and maybe it will be, just that, rubbish, but maybe it won’t. But, Susan, you have to give it your best shot. Come on, put a lid on those doubts, silence those excuses and, please, please, just get on with it. 

Like now.


  1. You have no need for doubts Susan, you're a very talented writer... and I'm already intrigued about Shay and Riley!

  2. You are too kind, Charmaine! Thanks for the encouragement. And all the best with your writing also.

  3. Sue,
    I've just finished Portraits of Celina. Wow!! Thanks for a wonderful read.
    Does that help move you on? I'm also about to start a new book - well I'm researching and wool-gathering after the release of That Boy, Jack. And yes, I feel in the same boat as you. But there is that tingle of excitement too. I bet you have that as well. Good wishes.

  4. Thanks Janeen. I am so glad you enjoyed Celina. :) I like the idea of wool-gathering. A lot less threatening than the blank page. Good luck with your new work and congrats on JACK. It seems to be doing really well.