Monday Musings – On Inspiration

Good Monday morning! It was a lovely spring weekend in our region. This is a great time of year and not just for the weather. For my family this is the beginning of our sport’s season, which will run into November. No, it’s not baseball, though I am a loyal fan of the perennial losers New York Mets (bless their hearts).  Those of you who know me, know that my daughters ride and show horses. Their discipline is Eventing, which is a three-phase competition that includes dressage, cross-country and stadium jumping. I could go on, but then your eyes might glaze over, rendering you unable to read, write and operate heavy machinery.

The premiere show in the country (and one of only seven at the very top level of difficulty in the world), the Rolex 3-Day Event, took place this past week in Lexington, Kentucky.


That’s nice, Susan. But unless you can relate this to writing or illustrating my eyes and brain will definitely glaze over.

Bear with me…

There were many stories of perseverance, grit, determination and, most importantly, passion, last week. I am going to share just one. It is about our friend and my daughters’ former trainer, Katie Ruppel. This was her third time at Rolex. The last two didn’t go well and she never finished the competition. Undeterred, Katie and her amazing horse Sir Donovan came back and achieved one of her life’s dreams, literally flying through all three phases over the Kentucky bluegrass.


(Wendy Wooley/EquiSport Photos)

I told you she flew! Katie could have given up on herself and her horse, given in to naysayers (no pun intended), and succumbed to self-doubt. Instead, she kept working on her craft (sound familiar?) and finished high enough to take part in the exhilarating victory gallop. Needless to say, I am elated for her. Like I said, Katie’s wasn’t the only story, but seeing this isn’t a sports/horse blog I’ll stop here.

I’m talking about inspiration. I love the various stories about famous (and not-so-famous) authors and the obstacles they have faced –  rejections, self-doubt, life challenges – and overcome. They are invaluable sources of encouragement, but they’re not the only source. There are people out there beyond our keyboards pursuing their passion, despite the odds. A lot of folks play baseball, a small percentage make it to the majors. A lot people ice skate, very few compete at the international level. A lot of people ride horses, only a small percentage make it through Rolex…

Get the picture?

Friends, what we do is hard and we are striving to do something that not many accomplish. We are going to get knocked down and deflated. It’s part of the game. But, we all pick ourselves up, brush ourselves off, indulge in perhaps some chocolate or favorite adult beverage and get back at our keyboards and drawing tables and keep going. Why? Because we love what we do and cannot imagine our lives without it.

So, who are your sources for inspiration? Share them here, whether they are from sports, the arts, entertainment or from your own circle of family and friends. Let’s celebrate those qualities that keep us all going and striving.

I’m not too proud to admit it – I learned a huge life lesson from someone half my age. And I’m ready to learn more.

Off to write and revise! Have a great Monday!

About Susan Mannix

Susan worked as a biomedical research editor for the Department of the Navy for fourteen years and has been a member of SCBWI since 2007. She writes young adult and middle grade novels. When she isn’t writing, she spends her time doing all things horses, including attending her teenaged daughters’ many competitions. Susan lives in Maryland on a small farm with her husband, two children, an adorable black lab, two cats, and three horses.
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4 Responses to Monday Musings – On Inspiration

  1. I loved your post today, Susan, and not just because I am horse addict! We can find inspiration in writers who have made it but also in stories like Katie’s. Not only do they inspire us to keep going with our craft, but they also give us story ideas (ie: inspiration) of another kind!

    • susanmannix says:

      Thanks so much, Lois! And you’re right – there are plenty of great stories in the horse world. Wish I could’ve shared more from this year’s Rolex, but as I mentioned, this isn’t a horse blog! 🙂

  2. larissagraham says:

    This post could not have come at a better time for me. I received another rejection letter this week and though I know that it is part of the process, it stinks! So, thank you for your encouragement and words of wisdom:)

    • susanmannix says:

      Glad it helped, Larissa. I know that you will succeed – you are a wonderfully talented writer. Like Katie, your time will come! Keep writing!

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