Home » Susie Rinehart

Tag: Susie Rinehart

real truth of publishing a book

The Real Truth About Publishing

I had been looking forward to my book launch day for years. I fantasized about it, actually. In one of my fantasies of life after publishing, I am sitting in a white leather chair across from an interviewer on TV when she asks, “How does it feel to be a published author?” Before responding, I lean back with all the relaxed confidence in the world. I take a sip of my mimosa and say, “It feels amazing. I finally feel complete. Worthy. Free.” And the interviewer smiles a proud smile and the live studio audience jumps to their feet, applauding wildly.

The reality is that I woke up the morning of my book launch and took our daughter to the orthodontist. Then the drywall guy arrived because the ceiling in our kitchen was falling in chunks onto our stove. I had coffee with a dear friend, and that was nice. But a nurse called and interrupted us to let me know that my mammogram results were in, and they needed me to come back in for a biopsy. I walked home in the rain and sat down at my computer, writing a little and paying bills, before going to get groceries and making dinner. (By the way, the biopsy revealed benign little calcium nothings.)

I assumed that the day my book launched, the world would feel different. Sunnier. More loving. All that hard work would feel worth it. But like Mother’s Day, anniversaries, and birthdays, a book launch is just a day. And because of all the expectations and build-up, I found it hard to access gratitude. I began to feel resentful, like maybe my husband should have bought me flowers. Then I felt guilty for wanting the attention, and for the environmental impact of the cut-flower industry. Then I remembered that the book exposed my husband, and our family in a way that he never asked for, and that if anyone should receive flowers, maybe it should be him.

I also thought something would change in me on the inside; not only would the world feel different, but I would feel different. At peace. Happy. And it would be the kind of happy that stuck around forever. But I woke up feeling exactly the same as I did the day before the book launch. What I am learning is that I am just me. I am not some fantasy version of me. And this is my life. It is not flashy. I accept that those visions of leather chairs, TV audiences, and mimosas are just fantasies. There is no magic wand that turns my third cup of drip coffee into a mimosa. But I am also learning that that’s OK. I don’t even like mimosas.

I feel the truth in what the writer Anne Lamott says about publishing, “Publication is not all it is cracked up to be. But writing is. Writing has so much to give, so much to teach, so many surprises. That thing you had to force yourself to do—the actual act of writing—turns out to be the best part. It’s like discovering that while you thought you needed the tea ceremony for the caffeine, what you really needed was the tea ceremony. The act of writing turns out to be its own reward.”

What does it mean to have written this book? It means I understand myself and the world better. It means I made something with my own hands. It means I finished something I started. And it means that maybe others won’t need to go through several craniotomies to gain some of the wisdom I found.

The fantasies of accolades, TV interviews, and flowers are all great. But would I give everything for those? Would I give up my time with my children and friends? All my money? My walks in the mountains? No. Not likely.

Would I give up a lot in order to write? Yes. Absolutely.

In acceptance of the real is the true reward. In my real life, I get to write. I get to discover what I really think and feel by the simple act of putting pen to paper. I get to string words together on a page until they reveal a truth that is not just mine, but ours. I get to try to make sense of a world that often feels like it is in disarray, unfair, even chaotic. I get to face what I fear and work through it, one word at a time. I get to scribble and scratch and scribble again until my words create a summer landscape that anyone can step into, even when it’s winter. If you ask me, that is magic. And that is a fantasy worth living.

Love,

Susie

Please order a copy of Fierce Joy for yourself, a friend, a doctor’s office, or hospital waiting room.

 

"How do we banish the idea that we have to be perfect before we begin?"

Banish perfection

“How do we banish the idea that we have to be perfect before we begin?”

–from Fierce Joy



brave perfectMy memoir, Fierce Joy is now available!  It is everything I know about bravery as a woman, a partner, a parent, a leader, an athlete, an activist, and a brainstem tumor survivor. Reviewers say it’s fast-paced and beautiful and funny. I say, don’t forget that it’s a love story! This is the memoir I’ve been working on in the pre-dawn darkness every day for the past two and half years. It’s about showing up real in life and at work and what gets in the way, namely perfectionism. It’s about love and death and living life to its fullest. It’s about choosing joy over fear and brave over perfect. It’s about looking underneath our fears to find unlimited joy. It’s about how our striving, saving, and performing to do things the “right” way is making it impossible for us to show up real. It’s about how Fear has become a main character in our lives, and a dangerous obstacle to real change.

Learn more, read an excerpt or order Fierce Joy here.

Celebrate progress

Celebrate Progress

“Build a community that celebrates progress, not perfectionism. Ask yourself, then your colleagues and friends, “Where did you make progress today?” instead of “What did you get done today?” … Celebrate persistence, vulnerability, and contributions to the common good, not merely accomplishments.”

–from Fierce Joy


brave perfectMy memoir, Fierce Joy is now available!  It is everything I know about bravery as a woman, a partner, a parent, a leader, an athlete, an activist, and a brainstem tumor survivor. Reviewers say it’s fast-paced and beautiful and funny. I say, don’t forget that it’s a love story! This is the memoir I’ve been working on in the pre-dawn darkness every day for the past two and half years. It’s about showing up real in life and at work and what gets in the way, namely perfectionism. It’s about love and death and living life to its fullest. It’s about choosing joy over fear and brave over perfect. It’s about looking underneath our fears to find unlimited joy. It’s about how our striving, saving, and performing to do things the “right” way is making it impossible for us to show up real. It’s about how Fear has become a main character in our lives, and a dangerous obstacle to real change.

Learn more, read an excerpt or order Fierce Joy here.

"The world doesn’t need us to be perfect; it just needs us to contribute to the common good."

The World Doesn’t Need Us to Be Perfect

“The world doesn’t need us to be perfect; it just needs us to contribute to the common good.”

–from Fierce Joy


brave perfectMy memoir, Fierce Joy is now available!  It is everything I know about bravery as a woman, a partner, a parent, a leader, an athlete, an activist, and a brainstem tumor survivor. Reviewers say it’s fast-paced and beautiful and funny. I say, don’t forget that it’s a love story! This is the memoir I’ve been working on in the pre-dawn darkness every day for the past two and half years. It’s about showing up real in life and at work and what gets in the way, namely perfectionism. It’s about love and death and living life to its fullest. It’s about choosing joy over fear and brave over perfect. It’s about looking underneath our fears to find unlimited joy. It’s about how our striving, saving, and performing to do things the “right” way is making it impossible for us to show up real. It’s about how Fear has become a main character in our lives, and a dangerous obstacle to real change.

Learn more, read an excerpt or order Fierce Joy here.

The opposite of joy is not sadness; it's perfectionism

The Opposite of Joy

“There is nothing benign about believing we have to earn our value on the planet. The opposite of joy is not sadness; it’s perfectionism. I don’t mean the have-to-have-your-nails-done-to-go-to-the-store kind of perfectionism. What concerns me is the kind of perfectionism that says, “I’m so sure I’m going to be terrible, I won’t even try.”

–from Fierce Joy


brave perfectMy memoir, Fierce Joy is now available!  It is everything I know about bravery as a woman, a partner, a parent, a leader, an athlete, an activist, and a brainstem tumor survivor. Reviewers say it’s fast-paced and beautiful and funny. I say, don’t forget that it’s a love story! This is the memoir I’ve been working on in the pre-dawn darkness every day for the past two and half years. It’s about showing up real in life and at work and what gets in the way, namely perfectionism. It’s about love and death and living life to its fullest. It’s about choosing joy over fear and brave over perfect. It’s about looking underneath our fears to find unlimited joy. It’s about how our striving, saving, and performing to do things the “right” way is making it impossible for us to show up real. It’s about how Fear has become a main character in our lives, and a dangerous obstacle to real change.

Learn more, read an excerpt or order Fierce Joy here.

Brave Over Perfect Photo and Cake Credit sallykeefe

Book Tour Updates

I’m going to be in NYC from May 29-June 2, Boston from June 2-5 and Toronto from July 26-30! Do you want to connect? I’d love to come and share all things Fierce Joy with you! What are the call letters of your favorite public radio station? Can you please share the name of a radio show that talks about happiness, wellness, or health? Are there any bookstores or cancer centers where I can read or lead workshops? I am so grateful for your help in sharing Fierce Joy with your community.


brave perfectMy memoir, Fierce Joy launches TODAY.  It is everything I know about bravery as a woman, a partner, a parent, a leader, an athlete, an activist, and a brainstem tumor survivor. Reviewers say it’s fast-paced and beautiful and funny. I say, don’t forget that it’s a love story! This is the memoir I’ve been working on in the pre-dawn darkness every day for the past two and half years. It’s about showing up real in life and at work and what gets in the way, namely perfectionism. It’s about love and death and living life to its fullest. It’s about choosing joy over fear and brave over perfect. It’s about looking underneath our fears to find unlimited joy. It’s about how our striving, saving, and performing to do things the “right” way is making it impossible for us to show up real. It’s about how Fear has become a main character in our lives, and a dangerous obstacle to real change.

If you haven’t already had a chance to purchase Fierce Joy, head over to this page to find it at your favorite retailer.

Learn more, read an excerpt or order Fierce Joy here.

Photo (and cake) credit: Sally Keefe

Fierce Joy Book Launch

The Wait is Over!

The Wait is Over! Happy Launch Day!  We did it!  Fierce Joy is being born today. AVAILABLE NOW! Get your copy today!

“The world needs us to be fierce enough to see challenges as gifts, to express our unique selves, and to expand the limits of what is possible. The only thing getting in the way is that we get stuck trying to find our way out of pain and discomfort. There is no way to avoid uncertainty. There is no guarantee of safety.”

–from Fierce Joy

Searching for 5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 

I’d be so grateful for your continued help in achieving my goal to sell 1,500 copies in week one, and to reach 50, 5-star reviews on Amazon & Goodreads by May 22! If you haven’t already had a chance to purchase Fierce Joy, head over to this page to find it at your favorite retailer.


brave perfectMy memoir, Fierce Joy launches TODAY.  It is everything I know about bravery as a woman, a partner, a parent, a leader, an athlete, an activist, and a brainstem tumor survivor. Reviewers say it’s fast-paced and beautiful and funny. I say, don’t forget that it’s a love story! This is the memoir I’ve been working on in the pre-dawn darkness every day for the past two and half years. It’s about showing up real in life and at work and what gets in the way, namely perfectionism. It’s about love and death and living life to its fullest. It’s about choosing joy over fear and brave over perfect. It’s about looking underneath our fears to find unlimited joy. It’s about how our striving, saving, and performing to do things the “right” way is making it impossible for us to show up real. It’s about how Fear has become a main character in our lives, and a dangerous obstacle to real change.

Learn more, read an excerpt or order Fierce Joy here.

Susie Rinehart, Anne Lamott, Fierce Joy

What Anne Lamott Told Me About Writing

While in the bay area, I was lucky enough to do a writing workshop with the great Anne Lamott (Bird by Bird, Operating Instructions…)

Here are her 10 lessons on writing:

  1. Write badly for 20 min every day
  2. Nobody cares if you write another word. So YOU have to care
  3. Get a partner to read 4 pages every month. “A partner is like a birth coach.”
  4. Write what you love to come upon: Memoir? Fiction? Romance? Short stories?
  5. Tell the truth; all you have to do is change people’s heights and they’ll never recognize themselves
  6. Have a little sense of humor
  7. Wear out the voice of self-loathing by taking action
  8. Use a tape recorder/voice memo to get things down. If you can’t remember, start with holidays, and birthdays
  9. Blocked? You might be empty because you’re trying too hard. Take a break and fill up with other forms of creativity and inspiration
  10. Publication is not the lifelong seal of approval you have been craving. It’s not in publishing; the pay-off is in the writing.
Free Download: How to be a Friend in a Crisis

Free Download: How to be a Friend in a Crisis

Your friend is in a really hard place. It could be heartbreak, a cancer diagnosis, a betrayal, a child is sick, a parent is dying, a legal mess, or they made a painful mistake. Whatever the reason, it is causing deep suffering.

What do you do?

When I received a terminal diagnosis, my family and friends pulled me through the unimaginable. Every person’s journey is different, but what all crises have in common is that they are made lighter, together.

Download My Free Guide

This resource will help you to be a good friend in tough times.

Download Here

 


brave perfectThis content appears in my forthcoming memoir, Fierce Joy.  It is everything I know about bravery as a woman, a partner, a parent, a leader, an athlete, an activist, and a brainstem tumor survivor. Reviewers say it’s fast-paced and beautiful and funny. I say, don’t forget that it’s a love story! This is the memoir I’ve been working on in the pre-dawn darkness every day for the past two and half years. It’s about showing up real in life and at work and what gets in the way, namely perfectionism. It’s about love and death and living life to its fullest. It’s about choosing joy over fear and brave over perfect. It’s about looking underneath our fears to find unlimited joy. It’s about how our striving, saving, and performing to do things the “right” way is making it impossible for us to show up real. It’s about how Fear has become a main character in our lives, and a dangerous obstacle to real change.

Learn more, read an excerpt or pre-order Fierce Joy here.