Tuesday, April 21, 2009

What Aspiring Novelists Can Learn From Susan Boyle

If you have not heard of the DELIGHTFUL and funny Susan Boyle, trust me...you will. (Don't miss the video at the end of this blog post.) She has knocked the world's socks off and rocketed to fame.

This 47 year old songstress has the most angelic voice I've ever heard. Never has a voice brought instant tears to my eyes or caused goosebumps to climb to the surface of my skin. Miss Boyle became an overnight global sensation after her performance on Britain's Got Talent in a first round competition.

That this unknown woman from a remote village in Scotland sang "I Dreamed a Dream" from Les Misérables made this all the more spectacular in my opinion. She astounded the judges and brought the audience to their feet in a spontaneous standing ovation.

Since that aired, Susan has become a global phenom. And like most of the rest of the world, I cannot stop watching this video:

Susan's story can be a great inspiration to aspiring writers and artists. Those who long for their dreams to come true. Susan's dream was to have a singing career.

What is your dream?
What are you willing to risk to make that happen?
How long are you wiling to wait to see your dream come to pass?

Susan is the epitome of right priorities, perfect timing, and courage to follow a dream that I believe was sanctioned and governed by God.

I hope you will take time to watch the video below and share it with your friends. Especially if you are still waiting for your dream to come to pass.

Susan's journey reminds us that it is never too late to chase after a dream.

If you are still "in the waiting," I hope this video inspires and encourages you to keep going and to take risks in order to see your dream to fruition. I heard a seasoned author encourage a group of novice writers once with, "If you don't need God's help to bring your dreams to pass, then you're not dreaming big enough."

Have a wonderful day and remember these lessons from Susan Boyle's story:

Dream BIG!


Risk NO MATTER the odds or taunts stacked against you.


Beverly Sills said it so well: "You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don't try."

Here's Susan Boyle's Performance.


Susan Boyle's Fan Page

I admit I am SO envious of the author who will end up receiving the privilege and honor of writing Susan's fairytale-come-true story.

In the meantime, follow your dreams and write YOUR story.

Cheryl Wyatt


Tina M. Russo said...

You speak to my heart. I weep every time I listen to her video. She epitomizes that inner human core strength to never, ever ever ever give up. It doesn't matter how long it takes to become an overnight success. LOL

Thanks for sharing, Cheryl and pass the Kleenex.

Cathy Shouse said...

It's amazing how she has captured the world stage. The audience response is instantaneous which is what makes it so special. Since Seekerville has been talking about contests, she proves that when someone really gets it right, judges tend fall in line :)

I think she could sing anything but the song she chose, about dreams, is part of why we're so drawn to it, IMO. And maybe it's because of all that is going on that can drag us down, like the financial situation, etc.

Thanks, Cheryl, for choosing this topic today.

Lisa Jordan said...

What I love about her story is that she did it for herself and no one else. She knew what she wanted and she went for it. She refuses to let society to dictate who she is and what she should look like.

I'm writing a devotional to present at a women's retreat on Friday and it's centered around her. My dev is called Soul Reflection and how we need to look beyond the outer shell to the inner person. We need to see others the way Jesus sees them.

Leigh said...

Thanks, Cheryl, for such a great way to start the morning. I've seen clips of some things but hadn't taken time to watch the full performance until now. You're right -- wow, what an inspiration!

One of my favorite CS Lewis quotes is, "You're never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream." Susan helps show that you're also never too old to keep holding on to the dream you already have, no matter what it is or how long you've had it.

Have a great day, everyone!

Debra E Marvin said...

Susan's voice touches the most inner part of our souls--the part that longs for the beauty of God's perfection. It's like the angels around His throne. Pure. Beautiful, Awesome perfection. No wonder the world has turned to this video--whether they know it or not. We are created to want to come home to it.

Hearing her voice you imagine some young, beautiful woman and then you see this surprising package and again you are reminded of the nature of God who can see beyond what we see and are so limited by.

And then we learn her story and everyone who has a heart who has been disappointed gets the strength to try again.

wow wow wow.

Ruthy said...

Cheryl, what a wonderful, pertinent post!

We've shared Susan's story and video with so many people here. I can't count the number of times we've watched it as people come by, or as we talk of it. Even Dave (the quiet one in this family) pulled it up to show someone this past weekend, and not much impresses ol' Dave!!!

And I'm with Tina. Instant tears for what Susan's gone through and for the courage to stand tall.

To hang in.

To believe.

To dream.

But even the BEST dreamers need food and I baked a homemade batch of Easter sweet bread, dotted with jelly beans and coated with frosting. Delectable. Or Delectible. However you spell that.

And fresh coffee. Hand me the Kleenex. And Dave brought us some Hazelnut Biscotti creamer and I think it's the perfect time.

I'm heading to the stove to crank up some Scottish pasties for lunch, a bit of Shepherd's pie and some delicious trifle. Do we want strawberry, raspberry or blueberry????

Oh, heck, in honor of Susan Boyle I'll make them all.


Ann said...

When I watched the video the first time I liked seeing Simon Cowell melt. He looked like he was falling in love with her :-)

I also think her song choice resonated.

I wish her mom could have seen all this.

Janet Dean said...

Great post, Cheryl! Susan Boyle inspires me with her God given voice and her courage to make her dream come true. I'm so grateful I don't have to stand on the world stage to make my dreams come true. I can look as frumpy as I want while I'm writing and no one knows. :-)

Lisa, your devotional will bless the ladies at the retreat.

Cathy, love how you linked Susan to Seekerville's focus on contests.

I've brought warm blueberry muffins and coffee with all the fixings. I'm grabbing a muffin while I listen again to Susan sing.


mareva said...

Yes, this is a fairy tale come true of hope and courage..We are such a fashion victim conscious, beauty striving culture, that the audience and judges were judging her by her appearance...And boy did she show them!!!!Her story touches us because it's everywoman's story...We have to have faith in our convictions and keep reaching for the stars.. Write on, ladies..Nothing like a good object lesson to get our juices flowing, and fingers flying over the keyboard.

warm hugs,


Melanie Dickerson said...

Well, since the sound doesn't work on my computer, I couldn't hear any of it, but I still cried through the whole thing! Just to see the looks on everyone's faces. And I'd heard about how this woman wowed even Simon Cowell.

I wonder if maybe it makes your desired stronger when you know that so many people don't believe in you. I'm from rural Lower Alabama, and it would be easy to think it was impossible for someone like me to get published. Remember the apostle--was it Peter or Andrew?--who said, "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?" Well, I lived in Nazareth! I have a brother who is very scornful of my dream. I know we've probably all had people look at us like we're crazy when we tell them we write novels. But my church family believes in me, and my little girls have been praying for me for years and they totally believe in me. And that's enough for me! But God is ultimately the one who decides my destiny. Without God, I can't imagine ever breaking through.

Melanie Dickerson said...

Janet, I can't imagine you looking frumpy. :-)

Julie Lessman said...

Great post, Cheryl, and so timely! We all need to be inspired daily, and Susan Boyle is an inspiration who makes me smile every time I see her sweet face or hear her sweet voice. What a blessing! What an inspiration!

I have seen the video, but I must admit that I don't know much else about Susan. Does anybody know if she is a Christian?


Jessica said...

My friend sent me the link and it totally gave me goosebumps. What a beautiful story.

Mary Connealy said...

I've watched this video so many times it borders on obsession.
The judges expression, the way the audience leaps to their feet.

If you watch it again, at the end after the judges have said all these nice things, watch when Simon asks the first judge, "Yes or no." And he (Piers?) said, "Thee biggest yes I've ever given anybody." Then watch Susan Boyle's face. She's thrilled and yes, surprised. Later I heard that she said she can't remember much of the performance she was so overwhelmed and nervous.
Imagine that, after that audience and judge response she was SURPRISED when each judge said yes.

Yes, she knew she could sing, but she didn't begin to realize just how well it had gone, even as it was happening. I find that so sweet and unassuming and REAL.

Heaven knows if the gifts we ALL have are huge or small, we only know what we love to do, not how the world perceives us and I think that's the best part of this, that she slowly, only vaguely, begins to realize that someone else thought she was really excellent, someone else confirmed the dreams and hopes she had.

Love this Cheryl.

Mary Connealy said...

Oh, and I just finished Cheryl's latest novel Ready Made Family.
I'm not sure how you do it, Cheryl, but you just hook me so hard with these books I can not read them fast enough. You're a great storyteller.
I love the latest installment of your Wings of Refuge series.

Jeannie Campbell said...

when i first watched the video, i was fairly ignorant of the whole susan boyle phenomenon. and i couldn't have been more shocked when she opened her mouth to sing so beautifully. then i watched a later interview and heard that she'd never been kissed. this woman, with such a wonderful talent, at 47, had been looked over by just about everyone. to come into her own...and so publicly...is the best poetic justice i could think of! no doubt someone will write a book about this. oh, wait...that could be me...*sigh*

Mindy Obenhaus said...

Love this! And yes, I think we can apply Susan's story to our writing journey. It's all about God's timing.

Eileen Astels Watson said...

My hubby couldn't wait to show me this clip when I got home from the weekend women's retreat on Sunday. He just loves her voice, too!

She is truly an inspiration to us all!

Tina M. Russo said...

Success is the best revenge.

Tina Pinson said...

Susan's story is wonderful. The song is beautiful, her heart on the show seems beautiful as well. Untainted by the big wigs of entertainment.

They had another contestant blow them away yesterday, a twelve year old with a voice bigger than himself.

The sad thing about the whole story
is how little we expect from someone just because of the cover they wear.

They were already talking about how to change Susan's look and give her a makeover. Can you believe that give her a makeover because she doesn't fit our world. Perhaps because she's . . . unique.
That's a concept they just don't seem to get.

Then I heard they decided to wait, not stop the makeover mind you, just wait, till she made a few rounds with the media cause they didn't want to look stupid I guess.

That just makes me think of how we as writers have to watch it. When someone comes in, looking a bit motley or perhaps their writing isn't quite what we think it should be, we have to remember they were gifted from God. They are unique voices all their own.

Yes you can teach them to use it better, or maybe not.

But I wonder what would happen to Susan's heart and soul and voice, if the wrong hands decided she needed to do it their way, instead of God's way.

lynnrush said...

Yes. I've seen it. What an amazing story!! :-)

Jeanette Levellie said...

Wow! Saw this for the first time yesterday, and cannot stop watching it! Even my boss cries when he sees it, in fact, he's the one who told me about it.
A timely message for us all, but especially those tempted to give up too soon.
Thanks for the post, and the encouragement.

pat jeanne said...

Susan's story touches my heart, too. My hubby sat me down to watch and hear her sing. I was SOO moved by her voice, her unassuming manner and without all the glitz that accompanies many who try to gained international attention. I was reminded of the Scripture that says man looks on the outward appearance but God looks on the heart. Susan truly must have the voice of an angel.
And thank you Cheryl for drawing a parallel for us as novelists to continue to follow our dreams, too.
Yes, the world does look on.

Cheryl Wyatt said...

Sorry for not stopping by sooner. I had to get my word count in...deadline is stalking me. LOL!

Tina, have you seen the video of the little preteen boy now? Oh my...it is just as inspiring.

Cathy, I was just thinking about how the judging of those shows are so similar to writing contests and this industry's manner in general. Editors must be so ruthless sometimes out of necessity because there are SO many people trying to "make it" in the industry and to break in. Show biz in that way is very similar to what we have to do as novelists.

But while I could learn to write, I could NEVER learn to sing. My voice is horribly flat and off key. LOLOL!

Thanks for coming by!


Cheryl Wyatt said...

Lisa, thanks for coming by and sharing your thoughts. The devotional sounds interesting.

Leigh, I LOVE C.S. Lewis. Thank you for coming by and spending time with us in Seekerville.

Debrah, love your insights. Thanks for coming by. That picture of the baby is adorable!

Ruthy, shame on me for forgetting the food!!! Thank you for coming to my rescue. LOVE your new profile pic! It shows how gorgeous you really are. That's neat about Dave. Tell him thanks for the Biscotti creamer. LOL! Even guys are touched by Susan's story. Way cool.


Cheryl Wyatt said...

Ann, one of my favorite parts was seeing the judge's facial expressions before she sang and afterward. Total 180. LOL! The girl and the guy (not Simon) both looked on the verge of tears which was pretty cool. And a drastic turnaround from their earlier eye-rolling. Thanks for coming by and sharing your thoughts.

Janet, I'm with you on the whole standing-on-stage bit. At least we don't get rejected in front of the world like some of those shows' contestants. LOL! SHEW!


Cheryl Wyatt said...

Mareva, I think that's part of what the public loves about it so much...is the fairy tale aspect or the underdog principle. I so agree. Thank you for sharing yourself and your thoughts with us today.

Melanie, I hope you can somehow hear it with sound soon. Her voice is one of those that evokes instant tears in some or bubbles goosebumps on others. Truly amazing voice. Love your thoughts, thanks for spending time with us here!

Julie, I suspect she is a Christian because the media keep referring to her as a spinster who volunteers in her church to do good deeds for people. So I have a feeling she is.

Jessica, I totally relate to the goosebumps. LOL! Thanks for coming by.

Okay everyone...help yourself to the food...in honor of Susan and all Seekervillains (authors and readers) whose dreams WILL come true.


Cheryl Wyatt said...

Mary, I can't stop watching it either. And now the video with the little boy is having the same effect on me. Except that I am so concerned about children as young as him getting tainted by the industry. LOL! But Susan seems to be able to hold her own against the pressures of the industry. Time will tell. I love that she just wants to be herself and that it's her talent rather than her appearance that earned her the respect of the world.

THANK YOU for reading my book and for the kind comments. I feel the same way about your books, so this coming from an author as amazing as you rockets me to cloud nine! THANK YOU.



Cheryl Wyatt said...

Jeannie, LOVE what you said about poetic justice. LOL! Thanks for coming by.

Mindy, how goes it? Ah, God's timing...never in line with ours. LOL! Thanks for coming by.

Eileen, I've been amazed at all of the positive responses, even from men who don't normally get as caught up in emotional things. But this is a special case. LOL! It sounds like you've got a good, caring man. Thanks for coming by and sharing your thoughts.


Cheryl Wyatt said...

Tina R...LOLOL! SOOO true. I think I'm going to print that out and frame it. I couldn't have said it better. LOLOL.

Tina P, I saw the boy's video for the first time a day or so ago and wow! His mom was so scared for him. I can't get the image out of my head of the boy's face, how it started to fall when Simon stopped him.

I'm glad they gave him a second chance. Even if the entire thing was staged as some media outlets are claiming, his voice is something special. Thanks for coming by today. Come back often!

I hope Susan doesn't change, but my hubby said it might not hurt her to get her eyebrows plucked so she looks more feminine. LOL!

I just love her personality onstage and how fiesty she was. I think she's humble yet confident. I hope she stays true to herself even through the imminent success.

Thanks for coming by!

Lynn, good to "see" you! Thanks for dropping by. Come back soon.

Jeannette, you have the most gorgeous red hair. Love it. Like you, I hope Susan's story discourages people from giving up too soon. Thank you for sharing your time and thoughts with us today. Come back often!

Pat, I was looking for that scripture yesterday and couldn't remember where it was. Thanks so much for coming by. That's really neat how your hubby was the one to show you the video. I think it's s true test of whether our husband's understand true beauty. I've been so amazed by the responses, especially of men who respect her.

Going to pluck my eyebrows before my hubby gets home.....LOLOL! Kidding.

Thanks everyone for coming by!


Tina M. Russo said...

I did see that, Cheryl. He was awesome, but there is some core reality that Susan hits in all of us because we are grownups I think.

These are just the auditions. I can't wait until the competition begins.

Patty Wysong said...

wow. just wow. Talk about inspiring and encouraging! Thanks for posting this!

Cheryl Wyatt said...

Tina, I wonder when Susan sings again? Do you happen to know? I'll be their ratings that night will blow them away.

Patty, thanks for coming by. I'm glad you enjoyed the video.

I hope that Susan wins simply because the boy probably has his entire life ahead of him.

Hugs all!

Tina Pinson said...


I don't know when she sings again. And haven't see the boys, just heard about it

Speaking of tainted by the media and such, did you see that the porno industry is offering Susan one million dollars to do porno and lose her viginity in one of their movies.

I would have to agree with your hubby though, a few plucked eyebrows couldn't hurt...

Of course if you look at my beautiful picture . . . I'm the pretty little blonde by the way. You will see that my skin is radiant, my hair is soft and silky and I haven't an overgrown eyebrow one. I have a slight double chin, but I am diligently working on that LOL

Cara Slaughter said...

I cry every time I hear Susan Boyle sing. You need both talent and timing and finally she has both. It's such a great lesson about perseverance.

Cheryl Wyatt said...

So true, Cara. Not only perseverance, but about opportunity. When Simon asked why she hadn't been able to realize her dream before now, Susan responded with something like, "Well I've never been given the opportunity but I'm hoping this'll change that."

I KNOW there is OUTSTANDING talent among my Seeker sisters and probably among our readership.

Here's to hoping that opportunity will visit each of you in ways that go beyond anything you could imagine.

Hugs all!


Audra Harders said...

**But I wonder what would happen to Susan's heart and soul and voice, if the wrong hands decided she needed to do it their way, instead of God's way.**

Tina P, you sooooo summed it up! God gave Susan a gift. She accepted it humbly. She has shared her gift, and somehow I get the feeling that the gift is being swept aside, just a little, with all the considerations now being given to making her *look the part*.

How sad.

Susan has a lovely voice and I'm thrilled she had an opportunity to share it with the world.

I'm praying the world doesn't ruin it.

Julie asked if she's a Christian. I can only assume so since she supposedly works at a church. Can you just imagine THAT voice booming praise songs on a Sunday morning???

Thanks for focusing on Susan Boyle, Cheryl. AND reminding us never to lose sight of our dreams : )

Tina M. Russo said...

Well I Googled around and I guess they don't do the show like American Idol. But some say she will be in Episode 5 or 6.

BTW I heard her on Larry King and she says she is not changing for anyone. If you can watch that clip on YouTube she sings live.

Elizabeth Ludwig said...

This was an amazing moment to watch. Like the rest of the world, I cheered for this spunky woman who dared to follow her dreams.

It followed a similar moment from 2007. Did you all see or follow the story of Paul Potts? He also appeared on British Idol, and his story was similar to Susan's. Like Susan, he has an INCREDIBLE voice, and won overnight fame for his rendition of Nessun Dorme.

Cheryl Wyatt said...

Elizabeth, I've since heard of Paul but didn't see it during the season episodes.

Thanks so much for coming by! Hope you will drop by Glynna's wonderful Timer post. It's so great.


Tina M. Russo said...

I saw all Paul's stuff on YouTube.

He is an opera singing cell phone salesman.

Pam Hillman said...

Wow! I've heard about Susan, but had not had a chance to listen to her sing.

Her voice is absolutely AMAZING!

Made me cry and feel extremely happy at the same time.

Pam Hillman said...

Ann said: When I watched the video the first time I liked seeing Simon Cowell melt. He looked like he was falling in love with her :-)

I know! I kept clicking back to see his reactions. It was simply amazing to hear and SEE his reaction as well as the others, but especially Simon's.

Pam Hillman said...

You know, it would hurt for Christians to put Susan on our prayer list and pray for her.