But I like it here on the couch

It would be so much easier, so much more comfortable, to set aside my goal of a published book and simply write blog posts and magazine articles. From the couch.

Honestly, I like our couch. It’s super comfortable. The view out the large picture windows is green and woodsy. There’s no stress or anxiety on this couch.

Photo by sarandy westfall on Unsplash

You’re wondering, Why is she talking about her couch?

It’s because I just returned from a 4-day writers’ conference where—along with the encouragement and the great information—I was overwhelmed by what it takes to get a book published.

I sat down with a literary agent to pitch my book idea. Fifteen minutes of one-on-one time to tell her about my project, and to listen while she advised.  

The agent asked me to contact her again after beefing up my platform. It’s not enough that I have a completed book. Publishers are looking for writers with speaking engagements, newsletter/blog subscribers, and social media followers.

I know what I need to do, beginning this week. But, oh, it would be so much easier, so much more comfortable to plant myself on our couch with my laptop and stacks of books and a knitting project and pots of tea.

Talking face-to-face with a professional in the industry, committing to grow my ‘reach audience,’ booking speaking engagements—these things take perseverance and audacity and are not for the faint of heart.

But I am compelled to write.

And so, I choose to take on the uncomfortable, which means getting off the couch.

Back in my widowed years, I came up with the idea of brave-making campaigns … things like, signing up for something that intimidated me, learning something new, or doing things alone that I’d only ever done with other people.

I applied to be a speaker at an IGNITE event. I conquered stand-up paddle-boarding. I challenged myself to hike all my favorite wilderness trails alone (after letting a friend know where I’d be): Tam MacArthur Rim. Green Lakes. Up to the moraine lake in Broken Top and the moraine lake in Three-Fingered Jack.

And every time I took on a brave-making venture, I came away with more audacity.

Your effort at growing more courage will look different from anyone else’s.

If you’re single and haven’t been out much these past two COVID years, practicing courage might look like taking yourself to a favorite restaurant and sitting tall while enjoying a good meal.

It might be introducing yourself to the new family that moved in down the street, welcoming them to the neighborhood with a loaf of your fabulous homemade bread.

Or, being brave for you could involve training to serve as a hospice volunteer. Or trying out for the community orchestra.

Is there something that burns in your heart? Something you’ve always wanted to do, learn, experience?

What would you do if you weren’t afraid?


What are you doing with all those rocks?


What if we got the exact wound we needed?


  1. Yes! Love your determination. “Brave Girl” – says it all! Got my own list of next steps. ????????????????❤️????????????

  2. Nasus

    What a great aspiration . . .to share your heart with others! . . .long lasting blessings and investment! Thank you for doing so! Much worth the time, compared to vacuuming the carpet, which may have a few minutes worth of results! I’d better get to it! Love you! God bless you!

  3. You ask good questions! Although writing blog posts and the other writing I do are still writing and part of my purpose, when I sit do n and wrestle with my novel is when I also tackle the fears. The voices in my head which say, “Every other writer in the world is better than you. You will never get published, and if you do, no one will buy it.” I know God has a plan for this book, and I have to face the scary stuff to do my part.
    I read every word of every blog, and I am often prodded to get closer to the Father. Thank you for what you write.

    • I’m sure you’re the only writer in the world, Ann, whose heard those same voices in their heads … smile. Keep at it, girl!

  4. Leslie Cochran

    Marlys, just 7 weeks post op from Hip replacement surgery. Wanted to sit on the couch…and chill, but going out to walk a few my laps.
    Thanks, LC

  5. Peter

    Of all the ‘ventures/challenges undertaken which were so life changing.. especially the 4,381.69 miles cycled from west to east across USA.. you know I could go on.. Vietnam, Mexico, Israel, Jordan, Egypt etc, but each brought their unique memories, even more so when my Barbara was with me, so WE have and had those times together. Now, due to Bx’s health, my being carer, our lives are much changed, BUT writing new words for new songs, with new guitar riffs, seems to be the purpose of creation, enjoyment, meaning and a ‘beyondness of things’ for my each new day. Keep finding what is ‘beyond’. Our love, Bx P

    • Marlys Lawry

      “Keep finding what is beyond” … I like that, Peter!

  6. Diane Albert

    If anyone can do it Marlys, you can!!! The public needs your wise, comforting, encouraging & challenging words. I have shared your comments with SO many people & encouraged them to sign up to receive your posts. You have a big fan in me!!!

  7. Marlys, I love your heart and desire to share your determination to get off the couch! I did just that in 2014. I completed my manuscript in 2016. The recommendations I received are word for word the ones you have gotten. I plugged along working on “speaking engagements, newsletter/blog subscribers, and social media followers.” My manuscript was accepted by an extremely reputable agency and after jumping through hoops for two years, and being told my social media platform was too modest, I moved onto an even more reputable agency. I did two more years of hoop hopping – although I will have to admit that in the process, I edited and reedited my manuscript making it increasingly more relatable- but still I was told my social media platform was too modest. I had boosted my IG from 125 followers to 1,250 – still not enough. I then lost two years to covid. Finally, I said enough and followed the advice that my husband and so many friends and family members had offered, “your book is inspiring and it is a message that people need to hear, self-publish!” I was linked up with an amazing book designer and book editor and we are anticipating a mid-September release. I am beyond excited and I feel that God was with me in the “pause” and now in the progress. Find me on IG at living_through_loss or FB at donna m berger. If you would like to speak with me directly, I would love to share my info with you. You may email me at bergerdms@gmail.com Blessings, Donna

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