Talking Writer Wellness, Creativity and Balance

This review has been such a long time coming—thank you, Joy, for being so patient.

Way back in February, Joy E. Held, author of Writer Wellness: A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity, guest-posted here. Later, she kindly offered me a copy of her book and asked if I’d share my thoughts on it when I was done. Being swamped with schoolwork at the time, I told her I’d probably be able to do so come June. Well…that came and went (as did July), and here I am trying to get this done before August (and summer) go.

         Direct from her website (and FYI): My online writer-friend Joy is a college educator and award winning published author who knew at age ten she was going to be a writer.

In a recent post about Kristen Lamb’s We Are Not Alone: The Writer’s Guide to Social Media, I mentioned how I tend to be a reader of fiction. I’ll read self-help books here and there but unless there is a story tied in, I tend to wander to the latest novel I may have downloaded. (This is where print books have it over digital, especially on a Nook Color. With print book in hand, all I can do is read the book. Wi-fi connections feed seamlessly into the AADD (as in Acquired Attention Deficit Disorder—my made-up term, lol) and off I go…

See? Exactly like that. Okay, back to Joy…

Joy E. Held’s Writer Wellness outlines a simple but effective plan for overall wellness geared to those who write and/or create. She suggests a variety of very practical, easy-to-apply/adapt/adopt ideas, activities and exercises to promote creativity, balance, relaxed state and health of mind and body. (I am so not good at that ‘relaxed state’ part!)

Every chapter is a quick, easy, relatable read. Each is wrapped up with a summary (outline-style) that reiterates chapter highlights and “sends home” the chapter’s message. She follows this with simple “hands-on” tasks, some specifically geared for completion at the workplace. Joy also incorporates easy directions for creating great visual and/or tangible “aids” to help integration points made. Ideas for journaling, along with specific exercises, relaxation techniques, nutrition tips and activities for creating (at home and at work) round out each chapter. She also includes a chapter dedicated to hatha yoga (geared to writers) complete with photos illustrating key poses and followed by a typical yoga workout. (Think I might benefit from taking some time to look at this one in depth! ;))

What I liked best about this book was its simplicity. Joy offered support to those of us who believe we are “too busy” to adopt (and subsequently reap the benefits of) Writer Wellness principles and strategies. I felt particularly encouraged by her thoughts on writer’s block and loved the schematic approach for working through a problem via “trouble bubbles.” I also enjoyed reading “Sheila’s” story; how, over time, her circumstances changed via the guidance she followed during Ms. Held’s six week Writer Wellness Workshop.

Allow me to leave you with a quote from Writer Wellness (p. 67):

“The simple act of commending words to paper inspires the universe to cooperate with our minds and hearts to allow our dreams to find us.”

So glad Joy found me! Learn more about her at her website. While you’re there, take advantage of a special triple e-book offer including the wonderful resource we just discussed!

As always, thanks to all of you who took the time to drop by! Those of you already familiar with Joy’s work, please feel free to chime in with your thoughts and/or experiences related to Writer Wellness. Everyone else, just say ‘hi’ and if you would, kindly click on one of the share buttons below to help share the word about Joy and Writer Wellness!

Until next time,

Joanna

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16 thoughts on “Talking Writer Wellness, Creativity and Balance

  1. Wonderful to be your guest today, Joanna! I love your blog and thank you for the high-fives on Writer Wellness. Joy

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    1. My absolute pleasure, Joy. I love the peace I associate with your book and the philosophy behind it 🙂

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  2. Balance is hard to find. But if we don’t create the time to balance our daily activities we end up very stressed out. As a busy hockey mom, a writer and a publisher, finding ways to create balance can be challenging, but when I do it, I find I actually have more time do all the extra things i love.

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    1. This inquiring mind would love to know HOW you manage balance all that, Jenni! Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

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  3. Fantastic information! I have read Joy’s ‘Writer Wellness’ and loved it! There is so much more to writing then just getting the words down. Also, I feel that this information is valuable and imperative for anyone, no matter what work they are in. Balance is the key to success!

    Now, I’m off to work on my meditation since that is my weak area 🙂

    Natalie C. Markey

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    1. Agreed, Natalie. I’d say I’m weak in meditation, too. Can’t quiet my mind for nothin’. Thanks for your comment!

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  4. Ladies, what fabulous and thoughtful comments! Meditation is always a work in progress. Some “sittings” are better than others. The important thing is to do it and don’t beat yourself up about being a “success”. You are a success everytime you try.
    Off to teach classes and will check in later tonight when I get home from school.
    be well, write well!
    Joy

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  5. I always intend to work on this wellness and balance issue, but never actually get to it. And most of my friends are in the same boat. We’d probably be more productive if we did pay more attention to our health. Why does that not seem to influence poor decisions when under deadline? It’s a mystery.

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    1. Not sure it’s that much of a mystery, Jacquie. Seems like anything work-related is priority in this society. When my cat died last week, I was at work and 30 minutes shy of a ‘big’ meeting with my coworkers and and a lawyer relative to some work issues. Both my boys were home; my husband had stepped out. I showed 11 minutes after the scheduled time, with my friend who’d driven me to the house since I was in no shape to drive. My director had already cancelled the meeting. Should have seen her face when I informed her i rushed home b/c my cat died. Then she turned to my friend and said, “I don’t understand why you didn’t just drop her off and come.”

      Sometimes, when I’m making myself nuts over a deadline, I stop and think this: if something catastrophic happened to me, that work wouldn’t have gotten done anyway.

      Thanks for stopping in! Always glad when you do 😀

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  6. Fascinating–Joy you are a joy and remind us that love & relationships should always take precedence! I remember when I had my first child and a free-lance grant writing job–only once I had to take the baby in to the office. Everyone was fine except this one purse-lipped female (expletive) who demanded the baby be removed. How sad. I might need help with this yoga thing though 🙂 Meredith (M. S. Spencer)

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    1. There’s always a purse-lipped someone around. When my son was an infant I had to take him in w/me last minute too. Three schools and only one lady complained (after the fact and not to me); she never looked happy anyway. Thanks for the visit and support, Meredith!

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  7. With every breath we grow.
    With every breath we change.
    Every breath is precious.
    Until your journey brings you back to me,
    Remember to breathe!

    Thanks for a great day, everyone.

    Joy

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