My Journey to Become a Writer 03/25/2024 Post #85

Informative Image

I’ve been reading Anne Lamott’s book “Bird by Bird” as I continue to try and gather motivation to take another look at my manuscript.

Lamott is pretty unashamedly crass, which I’m not a big fan of; but I appreciate her honest writing and advice. And, because of my story, I am grateful for her ability to talk about the humorous and beautiful sides of terminal illness. That takes a lot of guts, and it made me feel less alone in what I’ve written in the past, especially about my mom.

My mom sure kept me laughing while she was on Hospice:

When people would criticize my posts about my mom’s cancer journey, she would quip, “Oh, don’t worry about them – they just don’t have a sense of humor like we do!”

I hope someday I can tell that story; but I’m still stuck on the first manuscript in the series. I think one of the big roadblocks I’ve hit with my manuscript is the question of whether to self-publish or seek out an agent.

More and more I’m leaning toward the Indie side of the argument. This is Indiana, after all…

Two of the three agents I have talked to have said to send my work; but I have huge reservations. I think it’s the thought of losing freedom – not just in what I write or the way I write it; but the possible pressure to jump through pre-prescribed hoops to get my work to sell.

Is this just something I need to warm up to, or forget entirely? I can’t tell.

I know myself well enough to see this lull in word production as a season – sort of like the way the land laid out in front of my house looks like barren, brown corduroy for now.

Today was the first day I saw a John Deere coming up the driveway. The familiar and iconic sight of green and yellow make my lungs swell knowing Spring is officially here. Daffodils have been dancing for a while. Seed corn will soon be pushed into the ground, and before we know it, announce its growth with hisses and pops that can only be noticed by those who will be still and listen. The coast will be clear for soybeans to sway like a green ocean set down in the middle of America.

It’s coming, I know it is, and that gives me hope for my manuscript.

The land has been fallow for awhile; but work has been done on a microscopic level. The winds sweep through between rains and streams of sunshine.

It’s not for nothing, the season of Winter when we Wonder when the Land will be green again.

What Did I Accomplish Today to Be a Writer?

I did Day 85 of the 100 Words a Day Writing Challenge 2024 through LA Writer’s Lab.

My memoir group met today, and we listened to two members read pieces and then offered them feedback. It’s been nice to check in and give each other encouragement and a supportive sounding board. I was so shy about joining something like this. It definitely took stepping out of my comfort zone. So often, my tendency toward reticence rears its head; but I keep plowing forward and circling back, always glad I do.

It’s the same with these posts. The practice of putting myself out there has been so important to me in this process of becoming a writer. It’s kept my hands in the soil of word production. Hopefully these little seeds can sprout into inspiration for harvesting a whole book soon.

Thanks for reading what I’m writing,

Jody Susan

Today I was reading Anne Lamott’s candid description of her first novel, written for her dad, while he was dying of cancer. That struck a chord with me. My mom had pancreatic cancer. She loved to talk, and I laugh about how many times she said to me, “Did you speak”, because I tend to be silent. A year ago, she was fast losing her ability to form words; but it was a blessed time, regardless:

This seems like a long time ago; but I know it wasn’t so far back…


I'm not sure what to say here: I once got second place in a dog-look-alike-contest? I know how to fold a fitted sheet? I'm pretty much a poster child for social backwardness - at least as far as social media is concerned; but I have some stories I think I'm supposed to share and am attempting to do that here, in this space.

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