The official blog of Susan Landis-Steward, writer of whatever she likes, and co-founder of Puddletown Publishing Group

I is for Independence

That beautiful creature to the left is my youngest daughter, Meg, on the Spanish web. Basically, she’s hanging by her wrist from a rope way too high above the floor for her mothers’ comfort.

But we wanted our daughters to have more independence than we had growing up in the 40s, 50s, and 60s. Our three girls are children of the 80s and 90s, and they are fiercely independent.

So independent that one is a circus performer and two are bank managers. Never career paths I would have chosen for any of them, but they are all very good at what they do.

I was raised by a mother who had my life all mapped out for me. I vowed I would not do that to my girls and I succeeded, with a vengeance. They’re all powerful, decisive, strong, and above all, independent.

I’m not an outliner when I write. I used to try to map out books and never got one started. Finally, I just decided to start writing. That’s when I was finally able to get something done.

I spent 20 years in journalism, writing ledes in my head on the way back to the office and spilling it out on paper as soon as I was done. A professor of mine calls it “committing journalism” and it is sort of a sin for those who see writing as pure art.

But it taught me a lot, gave me some great material, and taught me how to write in tight confines of column inches, word counts, AP style. So maybe that’s why when I write creatively, I can’t know what’s going to happen. I just have to let my story tell me. That’s my independence.

And, for your viewing pleasure, a person doing something no person should be able to do. Yes, she is my daughter. And this is just the warm up. You should see her on stage.



This blog post brought to you by the words igneous, indolent, iota, implacable, and ingenious. Also by the Japanese number ichi.


Comments on: "I is for Independence" (13)

  1. What fun! So far with the alphablog challenge, I write something ok, and then the next day I think of something perfect. No do-overs with alphablog. I could wax lyrical about indolence.

  2. amazing! – well done for your children’s upbringing

  3. Whoa 🙂 She’s one talented girl!!! I hope you’re proud of her 🙂

    Following you from A-Z challenge!

    • Susan Landis-Steward said:

      I most definitely am. She’s an amazing performer AND a great human being. One of my best “creations”

  4. I don’t outline either, I just follow my muse. Works for me!

  5. Wow that’s amazing. You have talented daughters! I don’t do a formal outline that would make me absolutely nuts. I use bullet points to help me keep my story moving but still a lot of room for changes and flows as the characters take over and do what they want instead of listening to me LOL

  6. HOLY COW!! Those people always seemed so…superhuman, its odd to think that one can meet them, let alone give birth to them. Very talented 🙂 Great post!

    Sarah Allen
    (my creative writing blog)

  7. your daughter looks awesome. i’d watch her perform on stage any day! good job on letting them be their own person. I’m sure they’re eternally grateful.

  8. Amazing what your daughter does! I don’t outline either, I just write and then go back and “fix”. Nice to meet you from the AtoZ Challenge.

  9. Bravo, to you for raising such independent and confident kids!

    My parents, though loving, were of the opinion that ‘education’ was for my brother, whilst my sister and myself didn’t need to go to college or aim high becuase we’d get married and be ‘looked after’ whilst my brother would have to be a ‘breadwinner’!

    I told my kids – I don’t care what you do for a living as long as it ays enough money for you to do the things you want to do! One’s a librarian, the other is a (currently out of work)musician – but they’re happy – and that’s all you can really ask for your kids!

    I’m with you on the “let’s see where this story is taking me…” tack, as regards writing. Sometimes I read back over what I wrote and think ‘Wow, where’d that come from?’

    Looking forward to following your further adventures in A-Z! 😉


  10. Great photos! As far as writing, I’ve always just made it up as I went along. I sometimes have the end in mind, but never the middle bits. Now I’m stuck in the muddy middle of my current WIP and I’m struggling – so will be writing a basic outline. After I finish reading some blogs!

  11. Great post! I am going to assume that the one in the picture is NOT the bank manager. Ha. How diverse and interesting they are. A flair for creativity must run through your genes, or jeans. Enjoyed your blog.

  12. Wow. This post is amazing on so many levels. Congratulations on raising talented and independant children.

    I was a child of the 80s and my foster-parents were the type who believed daughters should become teachers and marry solicitors or doctors. As a consequence, my creativity was pushed down and didn’t emerge until my 30s. I’m not saying they were bad; they had good intentions. Just not the right ones!

    Glad to have met you through A to Z.

    Ellie Garratt

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