Title: Writer Wellness: A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity
Author: Joy E. Held
Genre: Self-help; Writing; Creativity
Wellness is an overall approach to maintaining good physical, mental, and emotional health. Writer Wellness provides anyone with a developmental guide to achieving and perpetuating good health and creativity.
There are five key concepts to a Writer Wellness lifestyle:
This book is about the rest of your life. If you choose to follow any of the suggestions, you will become aware of the myriad of changes the human body, mind, and spirit experience on any given day in any given lifetime. And that’s good for you as a writer because writing is many things, but most importantly it’s the permanent expression of your unique interpretation of the world.
Your vision, your point of view, is valuable whether it agrees with others or not. You have the right to contribute to the destiny of the human species with your take on the world. Awareness is integral to your ability to define life. You need a life to define.
In the delivery room, the first of sign of life is movement. The lack of movement is also the first sign of death in a being. The healthy integration of physical movement with mental powers is the best sign that we are alive. Studies abound declaring the mind-body connection, and appreciation of what role the spirit plays in being human is expanding as well.
Our awareness as writers depends on our state of health physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and within our communities. Our choices have a profound effect on the condition of these factors. It’s wise to make decisions that lead to a healthy state of being that is supportive of a creative way of life.
The information in this book offers choices you can make to improve yourself by writing in a journal, exercising regularly, learning to relax and meditate, making sound nutritional decisions, and by engaging in creative “play.” Everything has been reviewed and/or tried out by writers and artists in fields such as dance and the visual arts. Participants noticed a positive change in their health and increased ability to accomplish their creative desires.
In every main concept chapter there is a list of “Writer Wellness Key Concepts” that recap the important information. Read the chapter, review the Key Concepts, then continue on to the activities meant to clarify particular points of the chapter. There is a special section at the end of the chapters titled, “Creative-While-You-Work,” with ideas for incorporating Writer Wellness into your workday. The third edition contains a new chapter about technology and how it can work with the Writer Wellness concepts.
The simplest way to use this book is to devote daily reading time to small sections, perhaps at night before going to bed. Have a pen handy while you read to make notes in the margins or in a journal. Digest the material before attempting the exercises. Plan to spend ten to fifteen minutes a day on the exercises and move on anytime you feel compelled. Also, skip exercises if you want and return to them later. Every activity is meant to be repeated as often as you like.
The quality of time is more important than the quantity of time. Choose fifteen-minute periods that are most likely to be free of interruptions. Read, exercise, journal, or complete an activity when you’re ready. Every section is virtually self-contained, but the entire process is interdependent. While some pieces will benefit you, the complete package will change your life and your writing for the better.
Besides this book, the tools and toys you may need include:
* Writing and drawing tools (pens, pencils, crayons, etc.)
* A blank journal
* A calendar with large blank squares
* Art supplies (glue, scissors, construction paper, etc.)
* Old magazines
* Walking shoes/exercise clothing
* Relaxation kit (candles, lavender oil, pillows, etc.)
* 3 X 5 note cards
* A blank notebook for the exercises and your personal notes
* A timer (watch, electronic timer, etc.)
Some of you will read through the whole book and catch the activities later. That will work as long as you stay dedicated to the process in small increments. Assess your life and set aside whatever time blocks you have that will allow you to reap long-term benefits of the overall concept. Basically, this means gently and gradually restructuring your writing, fitness, relaxation, nutrition, and creativity plans until you have permanent changes that will sustain your career.
Life-affirming exercises produce the best results for most people. The following is such a powerful and essential tool, it’s the first exercise in this book:
I BELIEVE EXERCISE
Write these words at the top of a clean sheet of journal paper. Pause and reflect for a moment. Something you believe will come to mind. Write it down. Then continue to write the words “I believe, I believe, I believe” as many times as necessary until ideas jump out at you. Write them all down, each time beginning with the words “I believe.” Don’t edit, revise, or filter anything. Write what comes to mind. After at least two pages of beliefs, reread your work. Make a concluding statement and put the exercise away. You should do this once a month in your journals.
An intense truth begins to expand itself the more you practice “I believe” writing. Some of your beliefs will cause you to stop, think, and reconsider. Other themes will repeat themselves month after month. These are your gut components showing themselves so you can connect with them in your life and in your writing. It’s a much happier way to discover your truths and desires than contemplating how people will remember you by writing your own epitaph. Swear a pact with yourself to make the choices now that will imprint your beliefs on the world and your world will remember you forever.
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Good self-care is the new multi-vitamin! Writers should still take a multi-vitamin, and Writer Wellness is a complimentary plan to help you stay on target for writing and life. WW is a lifestyle technique for anyone who loves to create with activities to stimulate creativity and health by encouraging regular journal writing, exercise, relaxation, good nutrition, and creative play. Regardless of style, genre, or writing goals, Writer Wellness is the perfect writer's companion.
The workshop will offer one to three activities per key area (journaling, fitness, relaxation, nutrition, and creative play) for participants to try then respond to discussion prompts posted in the course. This interactive workshop will present ideas any writer can put into practice, tweak, and maintain throughout a writing career with the goal of better health and expanded creativity for many years. Discover the Writer Wellness Warrior in you and be well, write well!
Writer Wellness is an easy to follow and customizable program for artists looking to maintain the creative edge no matter what.
Enter to win an e-book bundle of all 11 books featured in the Bracket Busting Bookish Event:
Runs March 23 – March 30, 2021.
Winner will be drawn on March 31, 2021.
JOY E. HELD, A.A.S., B.A., M.F.A. is an author, freelance editor, educator, Yoga Alliance Registered yoga and meditation teacher, college English professor, certified Journal to the Self facilitator, and workshop presenter with over 500 articles published in trade magazines, newspapers, and literary journals. She has published two historical romance novels. Her nonfiction book Writer Wellness: A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity, third edition is available from Headline Books, Inc. Joy is a member of Romance Writers of America, The Author’s Guild, and Northeast Ohio RWA where she is Vice President of Communications. She holds degrees in education, journalism, and an M.F.A. in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University.
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