Birthday wishes (or, what yeah write means to me)


I don’t typically write personal essays, but in honour of yeah write’s special day I am about to get all up in my own business and tell you about how I came to be the speakeasy’s managing editor.

2012 was a really bad year for me. It was the year of my ectopic pregnancy, which culminated in having to knowingly kill the life that was trying to grow in the wrong part of my body before it killed me, followed by having to come to terms with the fact that I wouldn’t be able to have any more children. My son is amazing and I thank my lucky stars for him every day, but as someone who always imagined a house overflowing with children, this was a hard truth to swallow. On top of that, as someone whose life had been consumed by the trials and tribulations of infertility for so long, I found myself at the dead end of an ugly road I’d never wanted to be on in the first place.

For a while, I wallowed in the mud at the absolute bottom of my life. But I’m not cut out for long-term wallowing; I never have been. So I picked myself up, dusted myself off, and decided it was time to get to know the mud-encrusted person I’d become. That quest led to the birth of my blog, and in January 2013, a mysterious woman named Flood lured me to the speakeasy. Flood was the speakeasy’s managing editor at the time, and she also happens to be a fellow Ottawan. We became friends and I became a speakeasy devotee.

The speakeasy challenged me, inspired me, and made me a better writer. I started taking risks, both in my writing and in my personal life. I made new friends, I went zip-lining, and I wrote stories I didn’t even know I had in me.

Then, last summer, Flood asked me if I was interested in taking over as the speakeasy’s managing editor. I said yes. Okay, I might have yelled yes repeatedly while dancing around my kitchen. Either way, it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

See, the team of editors here at yeah write are some of the loveliest, funniest, smartest, kindest, craziest, most creative, and most talented people I’ve ever met. You will never find a more committed bunch of people outside of an asylum. And every week, we work together to bring you the kind of challenges that actually challenge you—as writers and as human beings.

For me, the speakeasy is a labour of love. Each week, my awesome team puts together the prompts, the posts, and the Inlinkz grid. We answer emails, promote your submissions on social media, respond to comments, and troubleshoot technical issues. We read the submissions and discuss our choices for Editors’ Pick. Sometimes we laugh, sometimes we beat our heads against the wall, but we’re always ready to do it all again the following week.

When I think about how I came to be the managing editor at the speakeasy, I can’t help thinking about that miserable place at the bottom of my life. It makes me thankful I’m not inclined to wallow.

There’s a moral in here. It’s simple and it’s true: Life can hand your ass to you when you least expect it. You have to decide if you’re going to wallow or if you’re going to drag your ass out of the mud and beat your own path into the future.

We’ll be waiting for you at yeah write when you do.


Thanks to all my fellow editors—and all of the participants from both challenges—
for making yeah write such a fantastic place to be!



Image credit: Nigel Dennis Wildlife Photography

45 thoughts on “Birthday wishes (or, what yeah write means to me)

  1. That took courage to share such a private and painful experience. I can’t imagine the agony of being in such a place, but I’m so glad you’re not inclined to wallow.

  2. I find that the stories that bring us to the places we end up are the bittersweet of our life.
    I am so sorry about that pregnancy (and you know I mean it because I’ve been through it myself) and I’m glad that even in a year of bitter, the sweet FOUND you. (how lucky for US!)

    you make me want to be a writer, a better writer , every single day. I always feel lucky to read your words. Yeah Write is so lucky to have you.

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY Yeah Write.

    1. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again – you leave the best comments, Kir! Thank you for your empathy and your enthusiasm. None of this would be the same without the fabulous people that make yeah write a community. 🙂

  3. I loved this Suzanne 🙂 I’m so happy you found the speakeasy! Or I guess the Speakeasy found you. Either way, I’m happy!

    1. I never thought of it that way before, but I guess the speakeasy did find me. 🙂
      I’m thrilled that I get to meet so many awesome writers, like you.

      1. I know that feeling 🙂 I thought it would be intimidating (which it is, to a degree) but I find it to be more motivating. You guys rock!

  4. I am glad you dragged yourself out of the mud,and we found a wonderful managing editor for “Yeah Write”, thank you, your presence makes everything so bright and lively!

  5. Wow, what a heart-breaking ordeal you shared. I’m so very sorry. But I am so glad you were able to dust yourself off and jump in to yeah write. I loved this post and personal glimpse and: “You will never find a more committed bunch of people outside of an asylum.: Haha! Love you!

  6. How heartbreaking. 😦 I’m so sorry to hear you went through all of that.
    I’m happy that you found the speakeasy. And that I found it too! And you and all the editors of Yeah Write! ❤

  7. I’m glad I started writing for them again, too. I used to be religious with them.

    I like when you get personal. It’s great to read about what got you to HERE. Thanks for letting me in, today.

    1. Thanks Lance. It’s scary getting personal, but it feels good to be honest. Thank you for reading and for generally being so awesome. 🙂

  8. Suzanne! What a pleasure to get a peek into your life. You are an inspiration to me.
    I am so glad and thankful to have met you on the speakeasy, and look forward to more weeks of celebrating and banging our heads against the wall. 🙂

  9. What an inspiring message! Thank you for sharing it. Some of the most amazing people I’ve met have been since I’ve been blogging and I count you among those at the top of the pack.

  10. Let’s see how far this analogy will stretch. I am glad to know you did not wallow, you grabbed that dilemma by the horns and wrestled it into the mud which you used to make bricks to build a foundation of community and support for yourself and others online and off. (How’d I do?)

    I met you, and the community of entrepreneurs you founded, in 2012. It was a year of beginnings and endings, sparks and flame outs, but having community made a world of difference to me. You are one of the sparks. Sometimes dreams change, sometimes they come about in ways we never imagined.

  11. All that I can say is that that is a tar pit of mud to pull yourself out of- not only did you do so, but you’re shining so brightly (in my personal opinion) in this world it’s like your dirt was forged into a crown that you can wear proudly.

  12. Suzanne,

    Thanks so much for sharing your pain and your triumph with us. Yours is an inspiring story, and as someone new to Yeah Write, it really blessed me to get to “know” you. Isn’t it funny how so many of us are led to write, when we’ve come to a rocky place in our lives? I believe writing is one of God’s gifts to help us cope with and overcome those rocky places. God bless you as you continue to write, inspire and edit here at The Speakeasy and Yeah Write, and may He bless your family as well!


  13. Suzanne, I’m a huge fan of your fiction, and after reading this post, I’m a huge fan of your nonfiction as well. It was really special to read this essay and get a glimpse into your life. I’m glad you were able to “drag your ass out of the mud.” I hope 2014 is full of laughter and blessings for you. Karen

    1. Thank you so much, Karen! I’m a huge fan of all your writing too. And I feel so lucky to have met all you wonderful bloggers along the way. 🙂

  14. Hi Suzanne, thanks so much for sharing this view into your life. I’m glad you found your calling. 🙂 Finding a community that speaks to you is so energizing—it raises you up when you desperately need it. I think we need more of these connections in this chaotic world we live in. I’m so thankful for the people around me who keep me sane!

  15. Thank you for sharing your brave and personal story. I’m so sorry for your loss and the suckiness of it all but glad it led you to Yeah Write.

  16. You already know how much I love your writing Suzanne and today I understand why you are such a fine human being too!Am so proud to see you share a painful part of your personal life with us-(I have walked the infertility path too,so I know ),it takes courage to do that and doubly glad that you found it in you to pick yourself up and land among the stars,so to speak:-)We are so lucky to have you as the ME of SE and am so glad that I can call you my friend.Loads of love to your son and to you too,Keep smiling and keep shining-all the best!

    1. Aw, thank you so much for your wonderful comments, Atreyee! I have found so much love in the blogosphere, I can’t believe I didn’t get here sooner. 😀

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