Happy Birthday to ME!

Grab a cuppa and strap in.

Two years ago I made a promise to myself that I would be well on my way to having my novel published if not by the time I was 40, then soon after.

Today I am 40.

I never thought I was one for milestone birthdays, but it turns out 40 is a bit different.

Three weeks ago I turned down an offer of publication. Yes, you read that right; I turned down achieving my goal. The offer was from a small publisher, and my book could have been out in November.

It was one of the hardest choices I’ve ever had to make. (In my hugely privileged life).

I know it was the right one though, I could feel it in my body. Leaning into my intuition is becoming my Go-To state, and a way of making decisions which I can live with.

When I made this promise to myself I didn’t think I’d have;

  • Written another book.
  • Had poetry published in an Australian Anthology.
  • Had my fiction published in a feminine surrealist journal.
  • Had the first page of my novel in a writing magazine.
  • Turned down a deal to have my debut published.
  • Had short fiction published all around the web.

This journey isn’t a straight line, and isn’t the same for everyone. It’s as individual as every book and every author.

Going through some homeschooling papers the other day, on a tidying mission with my daughters, we came across a treasure map that I’d drawn to use as an example for them creating their own.

I nearly threw it out and then as I looked at it, I felt like this was my map of my path to publication. In a broader sense, this could also be a map of 2020 and the crazy amount of obstacles and terrain we have all found ourselves in.

Map of 2020

I want to get to the northly point of the island and stand by that lighthouse watching the mermaids, before I even get to the X marking the spot where my treasure is buried.

What about you? Where are you on the map of 2020? What is at your personal X? What about the collective X?

I’m sure many of you in positions where you are filled with uncertainty. Our situation has been turned upside down this year too. There’s A LOT of stuff going on that I don’t want to share just yet. I need to process things first. I need to look after myself and those around me.

Going back to my manuscript, it has attracted some more attention. Please keep your fingers crossed.

Okay- I’m off for a socially distanced birthday meal with my husband whilst the kids go back to school on their first day post lockdown… Nope, nothing to see here, just a regular birthday… ARGH!

I hope you and yours are well. Let me know what you think of my map.

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Published by

Susan Earlam

Writer of fiction, lifestyle and home interiors

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