Jan 13, 2023·edited Jan 13, 2023

Your work is so encouraging. Thank you for the tips. I am so impatient! But, life! Now it's a husband who has retired, and grandchildren. So if you reach a happy empty nester period, treasure it. Everything changes.

Expand full comment

Ugh Sooz I love this. Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing AND for the years of work and love you've put into the YA writersphere. I've been subscribed to your newsletter for a long, long time (probably since 2015 or so, when I was still in high school myself!) and so much of my identity as a writer I owe to the time and care you took with your writing advice. 💛

Also, i was thinking about this the other day--i am so happy for you!!!! I work at an independent bookstore now, and we cannot keep The Luminaries on the shelf. It's always snatched up super quickly. I know my little bookstore is not necessarily reflective of the larger world, but then I saw your LumiNerds post about three weeks on the NYT bestseller's list, and ahhh!!! That is so, very exciting!

I understand the desire to grow and make progress and shape a more balanced mentality. I also just wanted to share those thoughts while I had time to type out this comment. Wishing you rest and healing in the coming weeks ✨

Expand full comment

Wanting to grow, improve and get better at your own craft and person is something I've been struggling to maintain as well. I too feel that each year I haven't accomplished much or have failed as an artist/designer. But what I started doing just last year was pin the things I improved on, challenges I took and tried and note to myself that those are mini accomplishments of my growth.

You Sooz, constantly keep growing and improving daily with your craft despite life throwing something your way each time. I'm so happy to see the Luminaries on bestseller list and that the 2nd book is ready for preorder whilst the Witchlanders series is still going strong! Very grateful and thankful for the time you put with each newsletters, and the stories you continue to bring to your readers! We cherish it all 💚

PS. Hope your surgery goes well and that you'll have a comfortable recuperation!

Expand full comment

As #1 Discipline in Clifton Strengths, I didn’t expect to relate so much to your Adaptability woes. But I think the cons of adaptability and discipline overlap a lot, perhaps..? I thrive routine and interruptions to it can throw my whole day. You thrive on rolling with things, but then interruptions similarly derail you because you roll with them. So interesting.

Anyway, I can relate to a lot of this post. I feel like I’ve had no reliable routine since becoming a parent 8+ years ago. Weee. 🫠

Expand full comment

"Mum! Dad! Bingo! Bluey!" For whatever reason (torture?) the official YouTube channel has a 10 minute long loop of the theme song. Also, no parenting guilt here, I seriously hid a Little Blue Truck book in the couch cushions after reading it for the 12th time in one day. Parenting a toddler is a mix of doing the same thing for the 1000x time and then suddenly having them completely switch gears (usually to something they've vehemently insisted they hated yesterday). Here's hoping your kiddo's feeling better soon!

Expand full comment

I started writing my manuscript when my daughter was born. I had made the decision to leave teaching to be a stay at home mom and pursue writing. As a former teacher, I of course had a plan, finish my manuscript, query, get agented and published in two years, maybe three to give myself a cushion.

At the time, my daughter was the youngest of four children. The oldest was seven at the time. Suffice it to say, things did not go as planned. 😅

My daughter just turned 9 and I’m still chipping away at my MS but during those 9 years I’ve learned a few things about myself as a writer and a person. I’ve had to learn to be adaptable and when things didn’t go as planned, I learned it wasn’t because I lacked skills or commitment to my craft. I’ve had to learn to step back and recognize when I feel that momentum turning into hyper focus to the point where I will burn out and/or set myself up for feeling like a failure bc I didn’t reach a goal.

The impatience never really goes away but I’ve also learned when I feel that impatience for this draft to be good enough to query/I should be or should have been querying by now/I should have an agent by now/etc., I’m not acknowledging what I’ve already accomplished and also how everything that’s happened and will happen happens bc it’s part of my journey. I also am learning to accept this with grace and compassion for myself. This was not easy for me to do--I’ve had to unlearn some harmful beliefs and therapy has helped a lot.

Your post resonated with me so much. My oldest is turning 16 next week--I’m in denial--but I remember being in the toddler trenches so to speak and trying to write my manuscript. It wasn’t easy but it was also one of the most precious and exciting times in my children’s lives. Be kind to yourself especially with writing. Enjoy your time with your daughter--it goes by so fast! And thank you for sharing and being an inspiration.

Expand full comment

As always, so appreciate your perspective and honesty. With two small kids at home, I also feel like there is absolutely no routine (or as soon as I think I've developed one, it changes!).

Recently I went to a writing workshop near me and the speaker guided us through setting a cascade strategic plan for the year. It was PHENOMENAL. You set your vision for the year (sort of like a word for the year) and develop priorities and objectives from there, working your way down to measurable outcomes. As someone who struggles to organize all my creative plans and goals within my family and work life, I found this to be incredibly helpful, since it forced me to break down projects into individual goals (that are super small, but still...). Anyway, your post reminded me of that and how sometimes I have to reassess my own goalposts.

Sending you healing thoughts as you recover from surgery!

Expand full comment

Boy, did I feel this! Every age is a transition with the kid. I keep asking myself how I can enjoy the time. It wasn't always easy, but it's what I want us to remember. I bought noise cancelling headphones so I could work. We're finally at a place where Oliver's back to in-person. We take one night "off" while the other puts him to bed. But that other day is one-on-one time and it's special. I really hope you can enjoy this time and celebrate what you're doing. You're doing awesome! Also, Bluey makes my kid crazy so he gets it only as a reward.

Expand full comment

Get well soon, Sooz!

And as always, thank you for your honesty. Everyone seems to push the "yearly goals" mindset, but it just makes me so stressed and frustrated when nothing turns out the way I wanted. I often wonder if I'm not cut out for this. It's really validating to hear Ms NYT Bestselling Author saying the same thing!

Plus, I get you with the toddler-induced timetable issues. Been there. Still there. Have I put kids down for a nap when they didn't need it? Yes, yes I have.

Expand full comment

This was a really encouraging newsletter 🥲 I always finish the year feeling like I’ve failed, and while it’s nice to know I’m not alone in that, it sucks that so many of us put that much pressure on ourselves. Makes it hard to see the things we DID accomplish. This year all off my goals are lower, small things that I feel like I have more control over. Thank you for talking so openly about things like this.

Expand full comment

Thanks for this post, & YES more, more, more is not the answer! I forget who it was that said “Our society has become so obsessed with numbers…that they don’t know value.” Great reflections & hope you heal well from your surgery 🤗

Expand full comment