I had just released my writing guide for kids (INVENT YOUR OWN SUPERHERO) when I came across this in the archives:

Super Susan is a heroine I created when I was about 8, judging by the handwriting of my initial notebook story. I had long forgotten all about her, but I absolutely fell in love with her all over again. And really, I couldn't come up with anything more timely: a superhero whose power is kindness!

I enjoyed Super Susan so much, I wrote and released a new story all about her--and even incorporated some of my 8-year-old artwork into the cover.

But the thing is, we've all got these gems in the archives. Maybe it's a character, or a passage. Maybe it's a surprise twist. Every single old piece of writing has some gold nugget buried in it.

I just think we get so discouraged with some of our older manuscripts that we start to think of them, at a certain point, as being complete and total junk. Maybe we write ourselves into a corner, or maybe we got a billion rejections for a particular project. But for some reason, we stop seeing this thing that had once given us so much joy as a limitless bucket of potential. Instead, we see it in a completely negative light.

But there are absolutely gems in those manuscripts. Sometimes, it just takes a little time, a little distance, in order to find them.

We've all got drawer manuscripts. Get yours out. Sift through it.

Find your gems.


  1. Yeah, I love this, too. It reminded me that I've actually thought about this in the past, but then forgot.... But I love the idea of rebooting a favorite grade school creation.

    1. It's so much fun just to revisit where you own brain was when you were younger...

  2. Yay for SUPER SUSAN! And for SUPER HOLLY who gave her new life!

  3. I just published one of my seventh grade love poems in my recent middle-grade novel WRITE THIS DOWN, "giving" it to my protagonist Autumn Granger. The poem begins: "If thou would die, the snow would yield/ yet another grave for me...."


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