Friday, October 24, 2008


Stuff Happens

I went to get my flu shot yesterday and waited an hour because the doctor was interviewing someone for a job.

I finally checked my retirement balance and almost fell out of my chair.

My husband lost his job—twice in one year.

Stuff happens and I’m still supposed to write.

How do we sit down in front of the computer and conjure words to the page when our lives are in chaos around us? How do we create a story from thin air when we can hardly breathe ourselves?

I don’t know about you, but three years ago I committed to being a writer. No guarantees came with that pledge. I didn’t count on having a forever quiet time at home nor was I given the assurance that I’d never have to return to work or maybe squeeze writing in nights and weekends. I committed because I knew I had something to share and I wanted to write.

Some days are easier than others. Some days I can push aside the land mines and hibernate in front of my desk. But other days, when the stuff happens and I want to scream—I try to remember what life would be like without the challenges.

Pretty boring.

So I try to be thankful for the opportunities that come my way because through all the stuff that falls down around me—I find my stories. And then I thank God for giving me what otherwise could be a dull life and chocking it full of possibilities.

How are you dealing with the stuff in your life that prevents you from writing?


AnooCre8ion said...

Amen, this is so true. Without the stuff we would have nothing to say.

Bless you

Pat's Place said...

Sometimes it is the "stuff" that becomes the stories. When you look back on things like hubby losing his job and that becomes a really relevant story with all the things you do to cope and recover from such a low blow. Take notes now!

Sassy Granny ... said...

I've come to believe it's the little stuff of life that gives it its texture and color. Without that stuff, there really isn't much to pass on. It can be tough stuff, fun stuff, mundane stuff, or fluff stuff (sounds a bit like Dr. Seuss, huh?), but without stuff we merely meander.

Besides, what one shares in terms of their own "stuff" tells a lot about the stuff-teller. Richness resides in the depths of the soul.

Love the stuff you pen!

Anonymous said...

So true. Some days I just want the stuff to stop and then really cool stuff happens to remind me how great the stuff is.(How's that for a really long run on sentence?)

Renee Collins said...

Yeck, I hate waiting at the doctor's office. They put you in those little rooms with white walls to stare at and you just sit there.

Good post though, Terri. Sometimes I feel like life is piling up against my writing aspirations. It's good to remember that all of these things will actually make us a better writer. It's amazing that it works that way. :)

Donna M. Kohlstrom said...

So sorry to hear about all the trials and tribulations! As the saying goes, "Make lemonade out of lemons". You're a gifted writer and writing about how you deal with these situations can be an encouragement, support and healing to others who are there with you now or it the future will experience the same. Keep writing!

Tracy said...

Oh Terri - the stuff, the storms, the trials, they can be so overwhelming, but thank God that He is faithful to see us through. I hope things turn around quickly for you, and your hubby! Your perspective is so great though. I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Janna Qualman said...

I think it's often the stuff that GETS me writing. The stress and negative events stir my emotions and creativity - making me realize that much more clearly how badly I want to write, and making me understand how much there is to gain from doing it.

Melissa Marsh said...

I just try to remember to breathe, to get through it, to know that God is there each and every step of the way with me.

D. Gudger said...

A friend of mine, Kim Woodhouse (ACFW) spoke on this very topic at a local chapter meeting. She recited James 1:2-4 over and over again.

Because of the nature of writing, and the significance of what we as Christians are doing with words, trials come to incapacitate us or make us give up.

Recently during one of my novel's rewrites, I realized God walked me through the excruciating trials I put my characters through. When I read them I had to rewrite. Those scenes are more powerful and relateable because I'm not supposing.

Also, our testimonies can't be taken away. Know you are encouraging someone a little bit behind you on a similar road of pain.

MichaƩle said...

First of all, I'm sorry about your husband's job. We have been there before, too.

Secondly, how do I deal with the stuff that keeps me from writing? That may be the title of my first book since I'm an expert at letting things get in the way!

Today I crumpled up into a ball and had a good cry. Cheap therapy!

I'll be keeping your husband in my prayers, Terri.

Leaders In Learning said...

I love this phrase, "How do we create a story from thin air when we can hardly breathe ourselves?" Good post.

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Well, I just begin to look around; more importantly, I tend to my relationship with Jesus Christ first. I spend time with Him, via music, outdoors, and in his Word. I worry less about product and more about spending moments with the Author of creativity. He is always faithful to stir my heart and imagination accordingly.

And then, there are times, when I am content to not let it go in favor of life itself (like this past weekend and our Fall festival at church). Having young ones at home is my biggest obstacle for concentrated writing time, but having them home is also one of my biggest sources of inspiration.

Thus, I cut out most tv and spend quiet evenings with my computer and my thoughts.

Good things await you this week, my friend. Just walk it through, all the while watching for God.