Coach Marla Beck

Thoughts on Integrating Writing with the Rest of Your Life

by Marla Beck

in brilliant productivity, brilliant self-care, brilliant writing life

Perhaps the years have brought you a “life-quake” or two – an experience that dramatically ruptured the plot of life as you once knew it. Suddenly, your world is peppered with daunting new characters, settings or conflicts. Suddenly, you’re required to become something different or new, in order to survive and thrive.

My version of “life-quake” seems to be medical. After recovering from recurrent Hodgkin lymphoma in my early 20s, I’ve experienced life-threatening after-effects of the intense radiation and chemotherapy I received. The scope of my medical experiences impresses even physicians, who often look startled when they read my medical record and then look up at me. (I like to think it’s the fire in my eyes and heart that startles them… who knows.)


Many writers I work with have walked through life-quakes in different forms: divorce, death, trauma, illnesses. These men and women were tested and challenged by their experiences, and wisened and matured by their unique journeys to wholeness afterwards. It’s truly inspiring to meet people who don’t just walk through a disruptive life experience, but use that life-quake to propel their lives forward in a meaningful direction.

From my experience, life-quakes often spur writers and aspiring writers to get serious about their writing. There’s something about facing daunting challenges that crystalizes our passion, our purpose and our desires. There’s something about adversity that catalyzes certain people to make their creative work a non-negotiable, passionate part of their lives.

The trouble is, after adversity you’re usually stepping back into some form of your life that requires “outside things” of you. You’ve got to provide for yourself or earn an income to support the family. Maybe there are kids to take care of, or a body (yours) that needs conscientious care.

How do you honor all of you: the writer-self and the practical, responsible, live-r-of-life?

When you know in your bones you’re meant to write, it hurts not to do so. It hurts not to be fully you.

If have been struggling to integrate your writing into your life – after a life-quake or rough experience or not – and you fear you may never find a way to write as you know you’re meant to write… take heart.

No matter how busy you are, if you are driven to write it is absolutely possible to weave writing into the life you have. Doing so is a delicate process, one that demands that you respect ALL of you: the writer; the parent/spouse/child/friend in you; the wage-earner; the loving steward of your health, your home life or your community.

If you’ve walked through adversity and you know you’re meant to write, I offer you my appreciation for all you’ve gone through; my respect for your commitment to write, create and publish; my certainty and my absolute belief that if you deeply want to integrate your writing with the rest of your life, there IS a way, and you can start doing so NOW, in the very life you have.  

I can teach you how to get out of your own way and create steady, productive, sustainable writing habits in just a few weeks’ time. Let’s talk, if you need help. The world – or some small corner of it — needs your words.

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