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,


Working Out is Portable!

Hello, everyone. Rafa and Roger never made it to the Aussie finals. (Without them, does the Australian Open even count, lol? ) Tennis fans know, though, the circuit on both sides is bursting with tremendous talent and extremely likable players. Makes it hard to root for one w/o feeling badly for another. Nothing against Andy Murray, but with dynamic David Ferrer out of the mix I’ll have pulled for Djokovic in peace, lol.  Next week, I can enjoy the SuperBowl, knowing I was on board for the better part of the season. (Love my Giants’ jacket but think I jinxed them with it. They’re nosedive started the Sunday after I bought the darn coat!)

Oh well, enough of that. As I was putting together this post I got this feeling of how very blessed I am in this writer’s gig. Still working on learning the difference between writer and author, but taking baby steps in that direction and finding folks along the way willing to teach. In this case, Joy found my blog, left me a very kind message and wound up with an invitation to visit. Since I love is keeping things eclectic, Joy’s take on getting us out of that chair in front of the screen (any size, any kind) applies to anyone and pretty much anyone.

Introducing my newest writer/online friend:

Joy E. Held: author of Writer Wellness, A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity, Who Dares Wins Publishing

Connect with Joy: Blog:; Email:

PLEASE NOTE: This information is not meant to replace the advice of a qualified health care practitioner. Seek council before starting any exercise program.

THE PORTABLE WORKOUT: WALKING   Joy E. Held  Writer Wellness, A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity

I know, I know. You hate to exercise. Most of us do. I teach six yoga classes a week and workout on the weekends (Sunday off,) and I resist working out sometimes just like anyone else. But times have changed. Technology isn’t to blame. It’s to be commended because with changing times have come new ways to get physically fit because of technology’s vast array of offerings in the world of fitness. But are all the options helpful?

Writer Wellness came about fifteen years ago when fellow critique group members asked me what the secret was to publishing, working part-time, raising a family, and staying in shape. My dance and yoga background was a natural part of my everyday life, but it wasn’t for my friends. I took a step back, examined what I did, and Writer Wellness was born. I determined that my personal program of journal writing, exercise, meditation, eating right, and noodling around with creative play kept me compassionate, productive, and creative. What else do we want? Good health.

Over the years I’ve seen exercise go from aerobic class twice a week to cell phone apps where scantily clad gals demonstrate yoga poses that most of us only look at in books. Let’s get real. A good, old fashioned workout that raises your heart rate and brings out a little sweat doesn’t need much equipment. Some time, the right shoes, the right space or equipment, and knowledge of what to do are all anyone needs to achieve health. (Amen!)

Here are some simple ideas to get you going on the road to physical fitness no matter who you are:

1.WALK: on an indoor track, around the neighborhood, on a treadmill, at the park, around the lake, in the woods, in the gym, or in the office building. Get good shoes with a SUPPORTIVE ARCH and buy an additional orthotic insert to support your heels and arches even more and hit the ground walking. Start out with brief sessions and build up to 30-minute walks three to five times a week. Some people don’t do anything but walk and it works wonders. Challenged physically? Find a gym or buy an inexpensive recumbent bike and squeeze soft stress balls in both hands WHILE you work out on the bike for up to 20-minute intervals several times a week.

Please allow me to add to that: anyone who is physically challenged might want to consider seeing his/her physician for a referral to a physical therapist or specialized trainer. With only one or two visits (at times rendered in one’s home, and possibly covered by health  insurance), these professionals can help design a home exercise/fitness  program tailored to the unique needs of this particular population.

2.DVDs: Don’t buy them at first. They get stale fast. Borrow them from the library or rent them from Netflix and maintain a steady diet of exercise videos on the television screen. Once a day, pop in the dvd and work along with the cuties in tight pants for whatever time you have to spare. If you don’t do the whole session, remember to cool down before you move along to your next project. Morning, noon, or night. Just workout a few minutes every day and you will eventually see results you thought only belonged to scantily clad girls in cell phone apps. You can be your own cell phone app with a little bit of determination and variety. Don’t intentionally sabotage the plan to get healthy by repeating the same thing day after day. Make the effort to shake things up regularly.

Be well, write well,


That ‘regularly’ part is key, Joy. I’m moving into my second year of consistent exercising (frequent walking included) and loving the results! I was so inspired by the changes, a post by author Riley Quinn and feeling good about myself, I wound up writing a two-part blog of my own about it. (Newsflash: Blog-Hopping Can Lead to Inspiration! Part One; Part Two). By adding some dance moves (tying them into a given song’s beat, i.e., J-Lo’s ‘Let’s Get Loud’ is perfect for incorporating lunge-type movements with the Latin beat), I keep it fresh and fun. My YouTube playlist keeps the music current and retro-mixed and totally customized to my tastes for free! Finally, I try not to obsess about a missed session, either, by picking back up ASAP. Keeps it from being a chore and no guilt!

That’s it, friends. Thanks to Joy for sharing her wisdom with us, and thanks to all of you who stopped in. Let’s call this Wellness Week: tune in Thursday when Diane Lang brings more of her brand of sage advice for managing stress to the bloglight. Hope to see you then!

Have a wonderful day,