This is the sign on the back on my bathroom door.
It was written by my youngest daughter when she was about 10 years old. She was already a year into writing her first novel by then.
Yes- her first novel. She carried around a pink notebook and she would write in it every week in pencil. No indents, no quotes. Just stream of consciousness. She would then read a new chapter to me every month or so. She finished it when she was 15 years old. And then spent the next 2 years just editing it. It was over 60,000 words and was pretty damn good. And then she wrote another one. And now another one that is over 90,000 words and it literally takes my breath away. I feel like I am the mother of a future, unknown Steven King.
She has tenacity, that girl.
Graduating from the University of Iowa with a double major in Creative Writing and Journalism, she recently finished that 3rd novel. And the query letters are starting to go out to literary agents.
This sign that she wrote while so young was on the back of her bathroom door for years and during our last move she was going to finally throw it out. I freaked out and saved it and instead put it on the back of my bathroom door. I not only love the saying, but also her childish handwriting on that craft paper. It reminds me to be bold. To think big. Mainly, to act.
An artist in my class the other day was asking me how to get into shows. How to get commissions and how to win awards. My only answer?
It is the difference between a successful artist and one that struggles. You have to believe you can do something before you can do it. And then you have to act. Believing will not give you what you want. The belief is only the beginning of action. Once you act, then you can learn, improve, learn some more. improve some more. All along acting on the beliefs in a thoughtful way. Then things can come your way.
So belief will let you dream a dream. Audacity will let you be bold enough to act upon it.
My daughter will be published one day. I know it. She is literally that good and that tenacious. Plus, she has put in the work. Hours and hours of late night “typy-type.” (as she calls it) Hours and hours of revisions. I have literally put down other novels because they are not as good as hers. Even the first one she started at age nine. And I know she will not stop. She is the most tenacious, audacious and brilliant writer I have ever read.
Remember the Swann name -you will see it on bookshelves one day.
The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree!
You have taught her well by your example. 🤗💯
aww thanks! Yes we are both pitbulls….
Chris- lovely story. I first met her when she was in late high school. When I talked to her ABOUT writing, I knew she had IT. What I mean is she HS the FIRE in her belly. I had read anything by her. As a public artist, I am asked dozens of times each year about why I have been able to survive. Or, flat out, what “the secret” is. For years, I tell people, “I don’t stop.” A musician told me she saw a little girl wearing a shirt that said, “No pressure, no diamond.” I have that quote in my studio.
Yes she has “it” and you have audacity too. Let m ego win you want to read anything by her….I’ll send ya a short story…
Literally love this!
So amazing. My kids are the same. When my oldest daughter was in the second grade, her teacher, a nun, said to me and her that she wouldn’t amount to much. I told her to show that nun how wrong she was. Today, my daughter has published several children’s books, and she asked me to illustrate them. We are now working on another one. That’s our girls.
oh wow! That has to be one of the worst things anyone can say to another human being. I am convinced it comes from a place of jealously and being so very unhappy. I feel sorry for that nun. She must have been very miserable in her own life. Having been in 6 different Catholic schools until high school I can say some of my nun teachers were more mean and discouraging than anything else. I was in fear of them when I was little. Now I just pity them.
Like mother, like daughter. What a perfect piece to read on International Women’s Day. You both rock!
I have tears in my eyes after reading that. Keep that note for your grandchildren. I am so blessed to call you friend. You and Rin uplift my heart. And the other two Swanns as well!!
oh Eileen. Love you and love that I can call you my family.
So happy for your daughter. I will keep watch for her name on the shelves. So happy for you to have such a talented daughter. You are so right about the tanacity. I had someone ask me once upon a time why I thought I could paint. My answer was, without skiping a beat, “because I do”. I have burned the look on her face into my memory. It was soooooo nice. It also kept me on my toes to continue to learn and actually get better.
yup…because we do….
I began my foray into the art world at the age of 72. I also started tap dance classes at the age of 65. You are exactly correct. It does take audacity to continue, mess up, regroup and go on. That is how you get better, no matter what you are learning. Determination and tenacity win every time. Wish I would have know that when I was young. So happy your daughter started early.
Awesome! If she needs a proofreader sign me up!
Thanks for the new spin on that word! When I think back to when I first put my work out there, that’s a perfect word to describe myself and my work being self taught and not having a degree and looking back wasn’t deterred by anyone’s not so helpful criticism and comments, good for your daughter, n yes keep the note and frame it, it’s awesome! Ps love your work ♥️
good for you! Keep at it!…and thanks!
Happy to hear all is well with you and your family, and think the sign on the bathroom door is a great reminder to never give up.
Take a rest sometime, but then get back to work.