Rory’s a veteran songwriter, having
written songs for others to sing for years
before forming Joey + Rory. For him,
songwriting was always about storytelling,
a practice he’s found himself able to
continue and extend as a prose writer.
“Writing prose and songs are the same
for me,” he muses. “But with prose I have
more room and less structure. I try to
just set the scene and let the characters
tell me what the story is. That way, the
process is more revelation than crafting.
The characters tell me what they have to
say, instead of the other way around.
Even when I’m the main character.”
Rory’s got a warm, natural writerly
voice—reading him feels like
sitting across a kitchen table
from a dear friend, someone
humble and kind and eager
to help. Though, Rory says:
“Honestly, I don’t feel qualified
to hand out advice to other people. I just try to share my story
and my thoughts about what we’re going through, with the hope
that others might see their situation in it, and it might be encour-
aging to them and their journey in some way.”
This Life I Live is a deeply generous book. It’s an episodic memoir,
tracing the backstory of Rory’s music and film career, his love
and life with Joey and their family, their shared faith, and how he
has accepted Joey’s illness and death. And though Rory is wary
of giving advice, readers may come to find his hopefulness and
will to find the good in life contagious. Rory refuses to give in to
anything like despair, though that doesn’t mean he shies away
from his feelings, which are evident on every page of the book,
which shows what can happen when we are fully open in life’s key
What would Joey think of This Life I Live Rory thinks she “would
love this book.” He adds: “I know she would. Mostly, because I
have tried to be honest about myself and my life, and about our
life together, even when it hurts. She would want that. Joey saw
the magic in our life together and wanted me to share that with
others, whether through songs, or film, or the blog or books.”
This is the story Joey said Rory was born to write.
Half of the husband-wife country music duo Joey + Rory,
Rory Feek put down his guitar after Joey died of cancer.
But he picked up his pen, and their love story continues
in the pages of his first book, This Life I Live.
Country music fans probably know a bit about Rory Feek, who, with his wife Joey Martin Feek, was half of the country singer-songwriter duo Joey + Rory. They released eight acclaimed albums between 2008
and 2016, and their last album, Hymns That Are
Important to Us, just won a Grammy.
Fans might also know Rory from The Joey + Rory
Show, the couple’s reality TV series that aired on
RFD-TV between 2012 and 2014, in which Rory and
Joey brought viewers into their Tennessee home as
they prepared for the birth of their daughter, cooked
in Joey’s family restaurant, held fan
festivals at their farm, and more. Rory
describes his marriage as “an incredible love story,” one that—for Rory—is
an ongoing source of inspiration, even
though, as some fans may know, Joey
died of cancer midway through 2016.
Joey and Rory’s love story continues, in part, through the life
of their two-year-old daughter, Indiana, who was born with Down
syndrome; through Rory’s religious faith; and through his creative
work. A little while before Joey’s death, Rory put down his guitar—
“I’m a songwriter who isn’t writing songs right now,” he writes on
his website, thislifeilive.com. The blog he started keeping there
in 2014 ultimately led Rory to write his first book, This Life I Live:
One Man’s Extraordinary, Ordinary Life and the Woman Who Changed
It Forever, just out from W Publishing, an imprint of Thomas Nelson.
“Capturing the big and small moments in my life for the last
few years has been so special for me,” Rory says. About his blog-ging, he notes, “It’s led to the opportunity to develop my writing
voice and now even write a book.” But, as anyone who hears Rory’s
music or reads his writing will realize instantly, the experiences
he describes are not just creative fodder; they’re meaningful in
their own right. He says he started his blog and wrote his book
“mostly because those writings are important.” He adds: “They
aren’t just memories. They are all I have of those moments with
Joey now. I find myself going back and reading my blog posts a
lot, and being so thankful for them.”
This is the story Joey said Rory
was born to write.