7 – The Secret Life of a New York Times Bestselling Author, with Susy Flory

Posted March 30, 2020 | Laura Christianson
The Professional Writer
The Professional Writer
7 - The Secret Life of a New York Times Bestselling Author, with Susy Flory


I’m trying to picture a baby squirrel wearing a diaper.

You will be, too, after you listen to my interview with New York Times bestselling author, Susy Flory.

We’ll venture way, waaaay behind the scenes with Susy and learn about the not-so-glamorous life of a bestselling author.

The Professional Writer Podcast, hosted by Laura Christianson. Episode #7 features guest, Susy Flory, New York Times Bestselling Author

About Susy Flory

The author and co-author of 16 books (with several more in the works), Susy pens collaborative memoirs about unforgettable people who are living lives of adventure, courage, hope, redemption, and transformation.

Cultivating a Life of Writing

Laura Christianson and Susy Flory at the Ice Creamery

Laura and Susy at the Ice Creamery before a writers conference

As Susy pursued a memoir-writing career, an early project was rejected due to her “lack of credibility.” But Susy didn’t let that stop her. She sought out a mentor who helped her level-up into the professional writing life.

“You can’t do this alone,” Susy says. “The secret to becoming a professional is harnessing the power of teamwork and mentoring and community.”

A proponent of the art of listening, Susy runs ideas by other writers whom she trusts. Their wise feedback helps her quickly determine which ideas have merit.

The Movie Production Method of Career Development

Susy thinks of her writing life in terms of movie production, with three phases:

  1. Pre-production (research and development)
  2. Production (writing)
  3. Post-production (editing, re-writing, and marketing)

At any given time, she has several writing projects in process and works with multiple clients. Here’s what she currently has going:

  • A book about Irish donkeys (rewrite phase)
  • A book about a famous NASA flight surgeon (development phase)
  • A book related to her master’s thesis (research and development phase)
  • A book about a pilgrimage to Ireland (early research phase)
  • Professional speaking
  • Shorter pieces
  • Consulting
  • Copywriting

Irritation and Outrage = New Professional Service

Susy shares how irritation and outrage over an unmet need in the marketplace spurred her to develop Everything Memoir, a free educational and mentoring service that helps people write their stories of redemption, survival, and hope.

The Journalistic Approach to Becoming a Better Writer

Susy says she does not keep a personal journal; rather, she takes a journalistic approach to writing.

“I like to have a purpose, structure, and plan for my writing. I have a goal in mind. I like for it to be useful.”

She looks for projects that have a timeline, a deadline, a purpose, and a specific reader. “I give myself an assignment and I write it,” she says.

Susy has others read what she has written. She listens to their feedback. Then she rewrites and rewrites and rewrites.

That’s the difference between an amateur and a professional writer, she says. “Professional writers listen to good feedback. And they rewrite. A lot.”

Resources Mentioned

How to Keep Up With the Show

Essential Resources for Running a Writing Business from Laura Christianson of BloggingBistro.com

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