The Writerly Life

“I haven’t received notification of any new blog postings recently, ” a friend wrote. “I really miss reading your thoughts and insights.”

He reminded me that I have an audience for my writing, which is something hard to cultivate and worth keeping. My writing continues off blog, but not out of sight. I’m publishing in other places, some online, some off, but none that feels as personal as this home.

Last August I attended a writer’s conference just days before I took a new full-time job. There I had a light bulb moment. I live a writerly life. I’m a writer because it’s how I observe, how I process, how I progress. Whether I’m writing it down, publishing it or not, I live this life. I felt assured that I would always retain the perspective that comes in observing life as a story.

But my life changed.

I took a full-time job to shore up our family finances. The recession hit our family hard and continues to pound us, despite my return to work.

The more my life changed, the more lost I felt from myself—the self who spent 16 years as a stay-at-home mom, service-giver, church volunteer, freelance editor, blogger, fiction writer, wife, sister and friend.

My comfortable roles diminished; my inexperienced roles increased. My personal time disappeared. And my perspective changed.

I fell out of the life I thought I’d created and into an unknown one.

When your life becomes the story and you ‘re too busy to write it down, that’s when you stop orchestrating every chapter, calling every crises the climax, and visualizing the ending before you’re even sure of the characters. (As if we can ever really plan the ending anyway.)

That’s when you began to trust.

And, only then will your writing really start to matter.







  1. Trent
    Jun 27, 2011

    When I hear that the happily ever after has been sidetracked in other people’s life my heart reaches out to them with understanding and caring. But in my own story, some of the happier endings have happened when I quit trying to write the ending myself and turned the writing over to the Author of the great book of life. His stories are not without conflict and challenge but somehow he makes the endings work out happy. maybe not fairy tale happy but joyful and gets me ready for the next chapter.

  2. Camille
    Jun 27, 2011

    Both of you have expressed very poetically what is so true! I’ve seen it in my life too! Thank heavens my story turned out how He wanted it and not how I thought it should be!

  3. Rebecca
    Jul 15, 2011

    Oh Teresa, I’m so sorry to hear about your struggles but so happy you paused for a minute to reflect here on your blog. You have always been an inspiration to me since I stumbled on your blog as a new mother trying to figure out my place at home and in the world.

    Keep pushing forward. It’s so hard to step into a new role and still feel that sense of “self” we all need. But I am positive you will find meaning in your role and you will find happiness wherever your road takes you. Because you’re a thinker- and thinkers keep thinking until they figure it out, find the meaning and ultimately find the happiness they need!

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