How a Rebel Housewife’s Midlife Crisis Brought Her Closer to The Writer's Life


Sherri Caldwell

I call myself a “rebel housewife” because it just fits.

I joined AWAI’s Circle of Success in October 2015 at my first AWAI Bootcamp. I’d been a member of AWAI — through Barefoot Writer (and Mindy McHorse’s bare toes Video Sales Letter) — for about six months.

Once I realized I could make a great living as a writer with AWAI training and support — I couldn’t wait to get started.

I was already a writer — a published author, freelance journalist, Mom Blogger, and reviewer. The problem? I was writing mostly nonprofit material.

I don’t mean writing for 501(c)(3) tax-deductible organizations. I mean writing for free — no profit to the writer.

I was working on my own projects, and writing for the schools, my community, and causes important to me, including literacy, education, and autism/special needs.

The idea of making a living as a writer — much less making a six-figure income — was a dream I’d put aside to take care of my family.

Looking back 10 years

Ten years earlier, at a time when many women go back to work when their kids start school, I was heading back to the university to finish my Graduate Degree in Literature.

I was planning to teach at the college level — while finishing The Great American Novel.

In that same year, my mother suffered a massive heart attack and stroke. I postponed my plans in order to help her through rehab and recovery.

Ultimately, she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, and we began a caretaking journey that continues.

A few months later, my youngest son, in 3rd grade, was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome. He’s brilliant, but public education had been a struggle for him and we decided on homeschooling to provide the support and services he needed to succeed.

I was definitely in The Sandwich, so to speak — The Sandwich Generation being those of us taking care of young children and aging parents at the same time.

I don’t mean to share this as bleak and depressing. The thing is, researching, writing, teaching, and sharing resources about these challenges, through it all — especially the writing — saved my sanity.

And my writing helped other people with similar challenges.

Back to more recent days

Ten years later, when I watched Mindy’s video, I was at a crossroads in my life … desperately trying to prepare for a huge and unstoppable midlife transition.

My three children were in the process of going, going, and gone — one still in high school, one graduating and leaving for college, the oldest graduated and in the U.S. Navy, already half the world away on a tiny, little island in the Pacific Ocean.

What was Mom going to do, when her kids didn’t need her anymore?

Could I actually make a living as a writer? What?!

I jumped at the opportunity to learn how to create a good living doing something I love, and still have the freedom and flexibility to take care of my family.

In my first year as a copywriter, with AWAI and COS training and support, I went from making zero to four-figures … still teaching part-time and taking care of my mom.

Next year, I’m aiming for five-figures, and then six, as an editorial and direct-response copywriter for the lifestyle, travel, and tourism industry — with my Money-Making Website (Literary Travel) on the side.

I’ve learned to dream big again: Midlife Crisis Averted.

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The Professional Writers’ Alliance

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Published: November 4, 2016

1 Response to “How a Rebel Housewife’s Midlife Crisis Brought Her Closer to The Writer's Life”

  1. I enjoyed reading Sherri's article.

    OluwatoyinNovember 4, 2016 at 3:54 pm


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