Alright, Inspire, we are in for a treat today! Because today we’re going to get to know one of our speakers for the July Write to Inspire conference!
I can’t even contain myself! Susy Flory is one of those people that you meet and then POW! She totally knocks you on your booty with how fabulous she is.
I wish we could be learning this information about Susy as we’re watching her gallop at lightning speed on her huge horse Stetson but instead, we’ll have to channel John Wayne and use our imagination. Her abundance of hobbies, her humility and her quiet wisdom speaks to me so powerfully. She has so much to share. Not only about writing but about life and living with boldness. If you can’t tell, I’m a bit star-struck!
Okay, enough from me. Let’s meet Susy.
LN: How would you describe yourself in five words?
SF: Cowgirl, Bookworm, Brave, Shy, Grateful
LN: Your resume is quite impressive. Of all the many “hats” you’ve worn (mother, breast cancer survivor, journalist, teacher, writer, speaker, etc.) which has been the most rewarding for you? Which has taught you the most about yourself? Why?
SF: The most rewarding role has been wife and mother. I’m much more excited about the successes of my kids and husband than I am about anything I do.
I learned the most about myself in my breast cancer year. It was my worst nightmare because my father was diagnosed at 45 with kidney cancer, went through some nightmarish treatments, and died at 47. When I was diagnosed at 44, I felt like a genetic ticking time bomb and that my time was now up.
I got pretty mad at God and had to work through my fears and emotions. I had just written a book about women who changed the world and a truth-teller friend said to me, “You wrote about strong women. Now you’re going to have to be one.” Ouch. After four surgeries, chemo, and radiation, I can look back and say, “Thank you, God.” Not for saving my life (although I am thankful for that) but for using my cancer experience to change me for the better.
God used the experience to make me a better person, to give me a sense of urgency in my work and ministry, and to draw me closer to Himself. I’m not sure if this makes sense, but I feel like the experience clarified me.
LN: You talk a lot about adventure and boldness on your website. Tell us where those passions come from? How have you embraced adventure and boldness in your own life? How do you encourage others to do the same?
SF: Probably the boldest thing I do is ride Stetson, our retired racehorse. He’s 17 hands tall and it takes a giant mounting block with stairs to get up on his back. And then there’s this: Stetson runs.
When I take him out for exercise, after a few steps he goes from a walk to a dead run, and powers up with each lap until he’s snorting, bucking, and shaking his head. After a 20-minute workout (while I just stand around, drinking my skinny mocha and watching) he finally slows down and moseys on over. That means it’s time.
Believe me, I have to take my guts in hand to climb up on a snorting, sweating 1500 pound animal 7 feet above the ground. But there is nothing else like it. Facing my fears and riding Stetson has helped me in dealing with this crazy business we call publishing. It’s given me confidence and a sense of strength and mastery, although at my core I am a shy, nerdy bookworm.
I’d encourage you, if you struggle with shyness and a lack of confidence, to work hard and long to master something difficult, challenging, and physical such as kickboxing, yoga, skiing, or climbing. I guarantee you’ll be surprised at the dividends in every area of your life, including writing.
LN: Describe what your perfect day would look like. Who would you be with and what would you be doing?
SF: I’d be going to a U2 concert with my husband and kids. Here’s a quote from Bono I love: “I’m a musician. I write songs. I just hope when the day is done I’ve been able to tear a little corner off of the darkness.” That’s also my hope as a writer. I’m learning to be faithful to do my small part and then move aside to allow God to change the world.
LN: Thank you so much Susy for sharing a bit about yourself with us today. You have quite a story and I know we’re all going to learn so much from you in July!
Stay tuned, because on Monday Susy will be sharing her writing journey with us. Then, on Tuesday she’ll give us some great writer advice, talk about her status as a New York Times bestselling author and tell us what we can look forward to learning from her in July.
You won’t want to miss it!!!
It’s your turn: What triumphs have made you a better, braver writer? How has God uniquely prepared you for a writing life?