Even though there is no such thing as a ‘typical day’, people are fascinated to…
Using mum time to pursue a passion
For this newbie mum, time out from her regular job to raise her twin toddlers has given her the chance to pursue a passion for writing and story-telling.
Becoming a published author has been my on and off for dream for 20 plus years. I can’t count the number of times I sat down on holiday with pen and paper or laptop to start Chapter 1 of ‘my new book’, only to find my enthusiasm ebbed pretty quickly as other more fun activities called. Then suddenly it was time to go back to work. Anything written was filed under ‘Archive’ and never touched again. Maybe it was my lack of desire, my lack of inspiration, my lack of ability or holidays that were too darn short.
Still, I didn’t want my tombstone to read: ‘She died an IT project manager.’ Working day in day out helping other people get stuff done with limited resources and tight constraints can be challenging and interesting at a micro level, but rather unfulfilling at a macro level.
2 years ago this changed. I was waiting for my twin bubs to arrive and I felt there was a bit of creativity somewhere inside me, alongside two little growing bodies. Plus I wasn’t going back to work for a while. I’d had the idea for a children’s book about crocodiles after a trip to the Daintree River a couple of years earlier, and finally I had time to really think about it. I wanted to create something both entertaining and educational. Within 2 days I had my story. I love reading and writing in rhyme and this tale flowed onto my paper. I imagined reading it aloud to my kids whom I was still to meet. And didn’t stop there. Pretty soon I had penned another 4 stories in a similar style about other curious creatures and was proud of my small body of work.
More importantly, my partner liked the stories. He’s Dutch and a straight shooter; he says it how he sees it. So maybe the stories had some merit. With nothing to lose, I started investigating how to get a book published. After many google searches, library visits and conversations I compiled a list of 70+ publishers of children’s picture books. And what a closed industry the publishing business is! Unless you are an already published author, most publishing houses don’t want to hear from you.
Luckily there are a couple of publishers who are willing to open their doors to aspiring writers. One of these, Austin Macauley Publishers, liked my manuscript and liked my idea of having the book illustrated by my good friend, Ann Snell, whose art I love. After 18 months of part-time work between giving birth, learning how to look after newborns and discovering that sleep has a different meaning as parent, we have our first published children’s picture book, ‘The Crocodile Who Found His Smile.’
What a fun process it has been! I’m looking forward to working on book number 2 and beyond. And one day my kids are going to realise that that crocodile book in our bookshelf has been written by mama. That day will be very special.
HancyPancy (a.k.a. Susan Hancy) lives with her partner, twin toddlers and 3 cats amongst the kookaburras, cockatoos, possums and spiders in Newport. She loves big ferocious animals as much as small cuddly ones, reading rhymes and writing witty words.