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.