Wednesday, May 6, 2009


While you are reading this post I’m attending my niece’s college graduation. Friday my daughter will be graduating from college, and later this month one of my sons from high school. A friend is graduating with her masters in nursing, her oldest from college and her middle son from high school. To say change is in the air this time of year would be an understatement.

I often tell people that the month of May is worse than December at our house. I’ll be giving presents to all the people above so you can tell where I get most of that statement. All this graduating got me to thinking about change. Graduation is the end of one part of life and the beginning of another. Many people think of change or resolutions at New Years Eve but May can be a good time to check that list you made months ago and see if you are on track. With spring time bring change outside as a writer you should take the time to reevaluate what you have accomplished and plan for the months ahead.

These are a few things you might consider adding to your “to do” list. Should you attend a writing conference? Do you need to set a goal of attend two out of three monthly writers’ meetings during the summer to keep your mind on writing? Should you set time aside to read a book on how to write? Do you need to graduate to a different genre? Should you make plans to visit a place during vacation for research reasons? Should you think about joining a critique group or moving to another one?

Graduating is a step forward to the next challenge. Enjoy your accomplishments but don’t stop what you are doing instead make the next step forward to where you want out of your writing life.

Think about graduating to a different plane. Add to your portfolio, let go of what isn’t working, help someone else improve their writing skills, promise not to quit until “The End” is on the page or send that baby on its way even though you think it might kill you to do so.
Have you accomplished something and the time come to graduated to the next goal? Maybe graduated from one book to another or from unpublished to published or to a new understanding of conflict -- the list could go on and on.

This month’s theme is Mother’s Garden of Love. For all the times that I’ve graduate from one achievement to another my mother has been the supporter I could count on. I’m glad she was there to see each of my diplomas.


Anna Steffl said...

I really enjoyed (and needed) your post, Susan. I love the idea that I need to keep graduating, that it isn't just walking across a stage and shaking hands with a stranger.

I want to finish revising my work, get it out there, and start a new one...this summer...for an August graduation. Everybody send me cards!

Tami Brothers said...

Oh man, goosebumps!!!

LOVE this, Susan. With just finishing a final yesterday and jumping right back into my next batch of classes today, I SOOOO needed this.

I have a tough time because I always keep my eyes open on the horizon. I need to take more time to appreciate the now. Like with your graduation post, I need to relish that I stayed up until 10 pm last night FINISHING my synopsis. I need to revise my goals to get those pages finished for the Maggies. And I need to appreciate that I am one more semester down and that much closer to my graduation (one year from now).

Thanks for helping me stop and smell the roses today, Susan!!!

Have fun at graduation!!


Debbie Kaufman said...

I am finishing one phase - entering contests appropriate for my manuscript - and about to move to the next. Sending it out to editors. I'm not quite there yet, but I can see the horizon of the next step clearly!

Sally Kilpatrick said...

Thanks for this post, Susan! I had just finished assessing what needed to be done this summer, and I was a little overwhelmed. (If I want to finish both of my WIP before M&M, then I have to write 42 pages a week--I may have to settle for one.) Either way, instead of lamenting all the things I didn't get done over the spring, I need to focus on what I can get done from this point over. Thanks for the gentle prodding. : )


Marilyn Baron said...

I really enjoyed your post.

I am about to "graduate" to a new oroject, a women's fiction,which is a departure from my current WIP, a romantic suspense. And I'm looking forward to it.

I also owe a lot to my mother who has always encouraged me in my writing and other endeavors.

Congratulations on all of the graduations.

Marilyn Baron

Carol Burnside said...

Nice, Susan! You know I'm a goal-setting nut and love to track my progress so I can 'graduate' to the next phase.

Good luck with all your writing endeavors this year.

Sandy Elzie said...

Hi Susan,

Oh, the winds of change are always blowing...gently, I pray. I've just graduated to being a pubbed author and soon I hope to graduate to the level of multi-pubbed.

I'm also tackling my first book series, one down, three to go, so now I guess I need to find an agent. That would be another change, another graduation.

Thanks for reminding us...and me...that life is a series of choices to get in the game, not just sit on the sidelines and watch or grumble because we're not where we wish we were.

Also thanks for reminding me just how much my long-departed mother did for me. She was a living example, an inspiration, overcoming many tragedies and continuting to strive for a better tomorrow.


J Perry Stone said...

I would love to graduate from unpubbed to pubbed, but it seems all my graduating right now is on a personal plane.

Not sure how I feel about it yet, but I suppose there is always some discomfort with change.

Lovely, Susan.


Darcy Crowder said...

Thanks for the gentle reminder to take stock of our goals and make sure we're graduating onto better and bigger things. Just the nudge I needed today!

Good luck with all those graduations you'll be attending. Sending congrats and good wishes.

Sandy - your mother sounds like a very special woman.


Cyrano said...

Thanks for the post Susan. Graduating from one plane of accomplishment to another is something all writers should aspire to.
I'd like to graduate from one finished novel to two finished novels by the end of this summer. I'd actually like to graduate to muliple finished novels. I'd like to earn my Doctorate in writing "The End". Do you think they give those out? I think they should.
Hey, I'd also like to give a shout out to Tami for finishing the dreaded synopsis last night. Way to go woman!! And also, Sally, 42 pages a day or one a day is better than none!
Thanks again Susan.
Have a cozy, rainy Wednesday everyone,

Linsey Lanier said...

Like the others, I needed this today, too. I think I'm graduating into being a productive writer without being a frantic writer and beating myself up because I'm not producing pages fast enough. Writing takes time. A fact I just have to face.

Thanks for a thought-provoking post, Susan. May all your graduations be happy events!


Nicki Salcedo said...

Susan, I needed your advice badly today. I do need to set goals to keep writing my priority. You will see me at GRW (by choice not by force!). I need the PFHT's to keep me honest.

As for my mother, the book I'm working on now is for her. There are no words for her influence on me.

Mary Marvella said...

Thanks, Susan. We're never too old to graduate. Time to get back on track and take some courses.

Scarlet Pumpernickel said...

I enjoyed your post. I hadn't thought of all the little steps forward as "graduations," but you are right. Excellant way to look at it!


Susan May said...

Thanks for all the kind words. I got the niece graduated in Flordia today--Great graduation. Two more to go.
I'm going to graduate my material across the pond next week.

Ana Aragón said...


The BIG pond? Way to go, girl!

As for me, I'm wondering what I'm going to do with all that time we're going to have every spring now that Mark is finishing his college baseball career. Write, maybe?

I may have bit off more than I could chew by starting my master's program this spring, but I finished my first class on Friday and started my second on this Monday. I'm just going to take it one class at a time!

Thanks for the extra nudge!


Maxine Davis said...

Thanks for the post. It had so many good thoughts and reminders in it. You are a good writer!
I hadn't thought about all those next steps as 'graduating' but that is what it is and I'm working toward graduation, of sorts, now.