A Collection of Poetry, Essays & Articles ~ by Mary Pettigrew
“Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans.” ~ John Lennon
I hadn’t gleaned the thought of writing anything tonight, nor had I any desire to do so. However, as I took notice of the many other writers sharing social media posts & commentary about their own frustrations & various roadblocks, I decided to reflect on this a bit & decided to write about why I write… or why I don’t write. Without any particular topic in mind, my words tonight are meant as a cathartic reminder for myself & hopefully for others who might be reading.
Life happens. Sometimes things happen beyond our control, but sometimes we simply need to take a breath, freeing ourselves from unsatisfying, exhausting attempts to be the perfect version of ourselves as a writer in order to please our readers. However, once we lose sight of ourselves & own pleasure, our written words can reflect this & the reader will notice as well. Here’s one of my favorite quotes I find quite fitting for this post & for writers in general.
“I write for myself & strangers. The strangers, dear readers are an afterthought “ ~ Gertrude Stein
Life happens. With every ebb & flow, take these moments (or years), attend to the needs at hand. Some writers are able to dive back into their work without skipping a beat. Others must take time to reflect, regroup or reinvent themselves & their work.
Life happens. Sometimes we need to escape from such mental rigidity, finding the contentment to write about “nothing,” yet more often than not, something always comes from nothing. I think I’ll try to make more time to let myself go – to write freely, without the self inflicted cognitive overload caused from laborious hours nitpicking my verbiage, format & flow.
I suppose I’ll consider this post a prologue, a precursor intended to spawn future posts, musings & observations about writers & writing. Stay tuned.
ABOUT MARY ~
Mary is a patient advocate for MS, chronic illness & disabilities. She is a freelance writer from Texas who enjoys exploring a variety of different styles & genres, however her deep passion for creative writing (poetry, essay, narrative interview & non-fiction) remains unwavering & purposeful. Mary's personal & professional background is an eclectic compilation consisting of the fine arts, civil rights advocacy, fundraising with 15 years in sales/marketing & event planning in the private club industry. Mary is a 1990 graduate from The University of North Texas with a B.S. in Hotel/Restaurant Management. In 2001, Mary was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Within a few years, health issues forced her to resign from the career she loved. As her marriage began to crumble, Mary was keenly aware of the emotional & mental crisis firmly taking hold. Eventually, she sought the help of a professional therapist which helped her learn the important coping skills needed to tame/calm mood disorders & to encourage healthy ways in which to purge the noisy chaos inside the brain. This loss of reality, normalcy, & PURPOSE needed to be reinvented, renewed & rewritten...NOW! The divorce & all related proceedings lasted an unfathomable six years, yet it was the therapy, communities & her writing which kept her most grounded. Each poem a cathartic purge, each word a therapeutic tool meant for healing & to inspire resilience. Blindsided by this newfound purpose & passion, Mary continues writing & exploring a plethora of multimedia outlets to this day. Her writing, networking & advocacy projects target the MS, chronic illness & disability communities. Her interactive presence can be seen throughout social media. Although MS is the primary community in which she advocates, Mary enjoys playing an active role in other patient communities (bloggers, writers, music, live chats, special events, & many more. One of the key messages Mary continues to emphasize is how chronic illness can affect everyone differently. MS is a prime example in that we are not a "one size fits all." This disease called MS is a conundrum in every which way. To this day, research continues, yet we still don't know the root cause for MS, yet current findings now show "risk factors" for the disease. MS can morph as it sees fit to do so. Unpredictably, silently, sometimes relentlessly this MS becomes an uninvited, unwanted "internal room-mate." Mary's overall background & her desire to discover herself & new creative outlets was a plus. A renewed student for life, Mary continues to explore the unknown - Once you switch off your "auto pilot" it's amazing what you can see & do. Place focus on learning, consume new information & participate in activities uncharted or foreign (The science of Neuroplasticity). All of this is most DEFINITELY a work in progress, but remember to focus most on the important things in life. Laugh out loud & live selflessly with compassion, purpose & unbridled passion.
Connect with Mary at:
🔸Twitter: @pettigrew66, @MSpals
Acknowledgments and Press ~ UPDATES TO COME
* Creator & Co-founder of MSpals: A Global Organization (2014 - present)
* Administrator & contributing author of content, posts, & interviews: MSpals blog:
~ The Summer of Sport: Forward Poetry 2012
~ Poetry Rivals Collection 2013
~ Something On Our Minds Vol.III
~ Something On Our Minds Vol IV.
Interviews: National Multiple Sclerosis Society's "Momentum Magazine"
~ 2013 = Art Therapy & MS
~ 2015 = Connecting Via Social Media
Other works also featured on a variety of blogs, websites, videos, as well as other multimedia platforms including:
iConquerMS/The Accelerated Cure Project
WEGO Health - Patient Leader
HealtheVoices - Patient Leader
MS Focus - Monthly contributor
View all posts by Mary
One thought on “Life Happens”
You are so right about taking time for ourselves. Sometimes we aren’t able to get those moments to take a break from what life has dealt us. It’s not as easy as some may think. There is work, home, school and whatever else. I know I have been on a short break from school and my writing. But I will be diving back in. Life does happen and will continue, until it just ends.