Joy Held's Writer Wellness

"Be well, write well."

Writer Wellness Online Workshop in September Will Cover the Basics

cropped-writer-wellness-cover-2020_front_writer_9781951556051The idea for my book and workshop Writer Wellness: A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity (Headline Books, Inc., 2020) came to me when some of my critique partners asked how they could be my clones. They wanted to shadow me for a week to see what I did every day that led to my prolific publishing (over 500 articles and counting,) life as a homeschooling mom, and part-time hatha yoga teacher. Up to that point, I hadn’t done any self-examination of my processes, but when they asked, I stepped back and watched myself for a month while documenting my doings and beings in a journal.

What I concluded during my self-analysis was that journaling, exercise, meditation, good nutrition, and creative play supported my career and life. In the workshop, I share my story as well as ways you can customize the idea to reach your goals.

The workshop I’m leading Sept. 14-25 for Romantic Women’s Fiction chapter of RWA in September is a detailed look at the five key concepts of Writer Wellness and an exploration of how you can incorporate the practice into your life. With Writer Wellness as the foundation, you can achieve the writing dreams and personal goals you desire.

Be well, write well. See you in the workshop!

Register here: https://romanticwomensfictionwriters.wordpress.com/online-courses/

All good things,

Joy

Women with clean houses do not have finished books. ~Joy E. Held

Would you like an autographed copy of the updated third edition of Writer Wellness? Email moi. joyeheld at gmail dot com.

To purchase a copy: https://headlinebooks.com/product/writer-wellness-a-writers-path-to-health-and-creativity/

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Journaling: The Soul of Writer Wellness

JOURNAL OF A NOVEL BOOK COVER

“The unexamined life is not worth living.” ~Socrates, philosopher

Writer Wellness is the term I coined several years ago to identify my personal lifestyle plan. Writers in my critique group wanted to know my secret to raising a family, working part-time, homeschooling two children, publishing regularly, and staying healthy. I stepped back and observed my daily activities. Based on what I learned and my training as a dancer and hatha yoga teacher, I offered to teach those writers how to devise their own personalized program that included journaling, exercise, relaxation, eating right, and creative play.

The workshop meetings evolved into the publication of my book Writer Wellness: A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity by WigWam Publishing in 2003. A second edition was released in 2011 by Bob Mayer’s Cool Gus Publishing, and a third edition is coming soon from Headline Books, Inc. From there, I created a course that I have taught online and at conferences since 1998.

JOURNALING

“The Many Joys of Journal Writing”

Journaling and writers share a long and important history. From the personal journals of Gustave Flaubert that read like a laundry list of how to view life to the story bibles many writers create to keep themselves organized throughout the writing process, writers have always had and always will have numerous reasons to keep a journal. A journal can serve writers of all genres in many different ways, chief among them as a place to collect and hash out story ideas.

It isn’t a waste of valuable writing time to scribble in a journal in advance of working on one’s novel. In the words of author James Brown:

What matters is how journaling can help the writer come up with ideas, kind of a warm-up to a bigger process. The next step is building on those ideas, discarding some and fleshing out others, developing characters and motives, and arranging the scenes in a logical, meaningful sequence with a firm sense of a beginning, middle, and end. Whether you write your thoughts down in a journal or try to store them all in your head, which I don’t recommend, story begins when you begin to dream and brainstorm about people and their problems. (Raab 6)

Then there is the fascinating practice of documenting not only one’s life, but the progress of a book. Two books by John Steinbeck that fundamentally changed the way I look at myself as a writer and a human include Journal of a Novel: The East of Eden Letters and Working Days: The Journals of The Grapes of Wrath. Reading these helped me understand how keeping a journal alongside writing a novel can serve several purposes.

One use for a journal is a place to cleanse the palate, so to speak, before turning to the blank page of the work in progress. Reading snippets about Steinbeck’s faithfully recorded personal life reinforced my feelings on using a journal as a “dumping ground” to clear a writer’s head prior to working on a current project. All too often personal issues can make their way into our creative work and many times that isn’t the appropriate venue for hashing out our problems.

Steinbeck wrote a page or two each morning about his life, thoughts, and sometimes current events in order to “warm-up his writing arm.” He also used the journal pages to organize his thoughts about what to write. For example, one day’s journal describes his plans for writing:

May 9, Wednesday: It is time I think for the book to pause for discussion. It has not done that for a long time. I think that is the way I will do it. That way-first a kind of possible analysis and then quick narrative right to the end, explain it first and then do it. (79)

Steinbeck is just one example of a writer who uses journal writing to stay focused on the creative project at hand. Sue Grafton, prolific mystery author (“A” Is for Alibi) believes that the writing process is a constant back and forth between the right and left-brain hemispheres. She keeps a daily log of her writing progress and says:

This notebook (usually four times longer than the novel itself) is like a letter to myself, detailing every idea that occurs to me as I proceed. Some ideas I incorporate, some I modify, many I discard. The journal is a record of my imagination at work, from the first spark of inspiration to the final manuscript. (Raab 9)

Similar to Steinbeck, Grafton starts each writing day with logging the date into her journal followed by what’s going on in her life then a note about ideas she has for the book she’s writing. She ‘talks to herself’ about where the story could go and explores the writer’s question “What if?” In the privacy and safety of a “for my eyes only” journal, Grafton claims that this collection of meandering thoughts helps her jumpstart the creative juices and before she knows it, she’s writing new pages (Raab 11).

The many joys of keeping a journal for writers is a lengthy list. These three writers demonstrate how valuable a tool this is for brainstorming, whining, organizing, formalizing, clarifying, reflecting, and much more.

Upcoming Online Workshop: Writer Wellness

I hope you’ll join me in June for an online workshop hosted by the Yosemite Romance Writers where I’ll spend the month covering and sharing information and activities related to journaling, exercise, nutrition, relaxation, and creative play. The workshop is open to members and nonmembers.

All good things,

Joy

Women with clean houses do not have finished books. ~JEH

Raab, Diana M., ed. Writers and Their Notebooks. The University of South Carolina Press, 2010.

Steinbeck, John. Journal of A Novel: The East of Eden Letters. Penguin Books, 1969.

 

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Jokes Only Writers Can Love

THE LAST BOOKSTORE riley-mccullough-152713

Jokes Only Writers Can Love

Some days it’s funnier to be a writer than others. And writers are famous for thinking something is funny when other people don’t see the humor. For instance, we get a giggle out of misspelled words on business signs. We think running out of ink while printing off a query letter is paramount to disaster, and we think the telephone is a torture device meant to keep us from ever having a thought without interruption. And psychoanalyst is another word for the jealous critique partner. So on those days, it’s convenient to have a writerly joke to lighten the mood.

***

Three guys are sitting at a bar-

Guy#1 “Yeah, I make about $75,000.00 a year after taxes.”

Guy#2 “What do you do for a living?”

#1 “I’m a stockbroker. How much do you make?”

#2 “I should clear $60,000.00 this year.”

#1 “What do you do?”

#2 “I’m an architect.”

They turn to the third guy sitting quietly, staring into his beer.

#2 “Hey, how much do you make a year?”

#3 “Gee, ummm, I guess about $13,000.00.”

#1 “Oh, yeah? What kind of stories do you write?”

^^^^^^

A screenwriter comes home to find his house burned to the ground and his wife in the yard sobbing.

“What happened, honey?” the man asked.

“Oh, John, it was terrible,” she said while crying.”I was cooking and the phone rang. It was your agent. Because I was on the phone I didn’t notice the stove was on fire. It went up in seconds. Everything is gone. I nearly didn’t make it out. Poor Fluffy is…”

“Wait. Wait. Back up a minute,” the screenwriter says. “My agent called?”

######

A writer died and was given the option of going to heaven or hell.

She decided to check out each place first. As the writer descended into the fiery pits, she saw row on row of writers chained to their desks working in a steamy sweatshop while being whipped with thorny lashes.

“Oh, my,” said the writer. “Let’s see heaven now.”

In heaven she saw row on row of writers chained to their desks working in a steamy sweatshop while being whipped with thorny lashes.

“Wait a minute,” she said. “This is as bad as hell.”

“Oh, no it’s not,” said a booming voice. “Here your work gets published.”

*****

How many romance writers does it take to change a light bulb?

Just one: “He grasped the round, cool shape of the tantalizing bulb between his fingers and squeezed ever so gently then expertly guided the tip into the waiting socket. He felt the connection and slowly began a mind-blowing twist of the bulb until it settled into the perfect place. And they both knew the satisfaction of ……

Well, you get the idea.

~~~~~

Personally, my idea of Hell is being someplace without paper and something to write with or having both and my hands are tied!

Have a writer giggle to share that’s suitable for mixed genres and ages?

Be well, write well.

~hugs,

Joy

JoyHeldHeadshot3

There are five primary areas of practice to the Writer Wellness plan. Relaxation/meditation, creative play, fitness and exercise, journaling, and nutrition.

Joy E. Held is the author of Writer Wellness, A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity, a college educator, blogger, and yoga/meditation teacher. Her work has appeared in numerous publications including Romance Writers Report, Dance Teacher Now, Yoga Journal, and Woman Engineer Magazine.

Photo: K. Held

Photo by Riley McCullough on Unsplash

Copyright 2018, Joy E. Held

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Word Power: IDIOT

GOOFY BIRD ray-hennessy-229596 (1)

What’s In a Word?

There are five primary areas of practice to the Writer Wellness plan. Relaxation/meditation, creative play, fitness and exercise, journaling, and nutrition.

Word power is an occasional comment from me on–words. My love of words is one of the reasons I became a writer.

I’ve never been a fan of the word “idiot.” It is the ultimate insult to someone’s intelligence in most circles. But words, particularly prickly ones like ‘idiot,’ get popularized through overuse by a group or a celebrity or some other pop culture phenomenon. Apparently, “idiot” is a new favorite word in the world of entertainment.

There is the Alpha Books series “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to fill-in-the-blank” http://www.idiotsguides.com/

My daughters loved the Broadway musical “American Idiot,” a rock opera performed by the group Green Day.

http://americanidiotonbroadway.com/

And there’s the “Idiot Proof Diet” with a picture of a cartoon character saying, “I’m a certified idiot,” with a big smile on her face.

http://idiotproofdiet.com/

I mean, who wants to be an idiot? It’s the greatest reverse psychology marketing idea ever, isn’t it? You don’t want to be an idiot so you need the information or the product in your arsenal to prove you aren’t an idiot.

But then two comedians (Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant) come up with an idea for a television show called “An Idiot Abroad.” And even though the word idiot still rubs me the wrong way, this reality series is hysterical in a funny and perhaps a not so funny way.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1702042/

While he’s never actually referred to as the idiot, Gervais and Merchant have convinced Karl Pilkington to visit the seven wonders of the world because he’s a stay-at-home-and-happy-to-be-there Brit who’s not the most culturally aware fellow you’ll ever meet. Or maybe he is. What’s so funny is seeing yourself in what he says and does in all these countries when faced with some culturally bizarre (by some terms) foods, customs, and traffic. Imagine Archie Bunker getting a back wax in Brazil so he can wear a Samba costume to Carnivale. That’s Karl Pilkington, just no recliner or cigar.

For instance, not too long into the travels, he becomes obsessed with toilets when he discovers that they are not the same abroad as he’s used to at home. He hates crowds, parties, and planning, so everywhere he goes Gervais and Merchant have arranged for Pilkington to participate in some major cultural phenomenon that tests his patience and sometimes his stomach. Mostly what Pilkington does is complain. He witnesses the giant statue of Christ the Redeemer in Brazil and all he has to say about it is the price of a can of Coke is too much, and they can get away with it because there is nothing to compete with.

Needing a voice of reason among the cackles, I turn to Webster. “Idiot, n. 1. Psychol. A person of profound mental retardation.” Just when I think this isn’t going to help, I read, “No longer in scientific use and considered offensive.”

In my opinion, it is ignominious to call someone an idiot. What’s your opinion on the word idiot?

Be well, write well.

~hugs,

Joy

JoyHeldHeadshot3

Joy E. Held is the author of Writer Wellness, A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity, a college educator, blogger, and yoga/meditation teacher. Her work has appeared in numerous publications including Romance Writers Report, Dance Teacher Now, Yoga Journal, and Woman Engineer Magazine.

Photo: K. Held

Photo by Ray Hennessy on Unsplash

Copyright 2018, Joy E. Held

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Creativity Activities To Begin the New Year

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Creativity Activities to Begin the New Year

“The creation of something new is not accomplished by the

                intellect but by the play instinct acting from inner necessity.

                The creative mind plays with the objects it loves.”

                                C.G. Jung

                                Psychiatrist

 

Creativity is effort applied to problem-solving resulting in something that didn’t exist before. Creative play is anything that constructively enlivens your spirit while challenging your mind. While the brain helps organize the materials and the process, the mind/spirit supplies the energy and the daring and the questions necessary to find new answers.

 

Hobbies are also known as creative play. Think you don’t have time for a hobby? Find activities that are creatively productive but that add dimension to your writing as well. However, it is advisable to engage in creative play outside the writing world. Perhaps you will see how writing is connected, even foundational, to all the arts in some way.

 

Creative Play Tips

 

  1. Collage: Spend no more than 3 hours creating a collage from magazine cut-outs that relates to some aspect of your current writing project.
  2. Letters: Write a letter, poem, or journal entry as one of the characters from your current work-in-progress.
  3. Positive Affirmations: Use index cards and create a set of positive affirmation cards for yourself that encourage you to stay on task, finish a certain number pages, send queries, etc. Carry one per day in your pocket.
  4. Scrapbook: Create a scrapbook page about some honor or goal for your writing. Put a picture of yourself writing on the page and state the honor/goal.
  5. Contact me: Write a letter to me.
  6. Connect: Attend a writing conference.
  7. View Art: See a play, art exhibit, or a movie.
  8. Exercise & Write: Take a walk with a small notepad and pen. Stop and make notes about anything that pops into your mind.
  9. Gaming the Old Fashioned Way: Play cards or a board game with family and friends.

10. Color: Color in a coloring book. Draw or paint.

What creative ideas are you planning for the new year?

Be well, write well.

~hugs,

Joy

cropped-writer_wellness_cover3

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Tuesday Tickle: National Library Workers Day

National Library Week, you belong at your library, April 8-14, 2012

National Library Week 2012

It’s National Library Workers Day. Be nice. Make them smile by returning your books on time and by clicking over to the archived site of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions for some really fun humor to share with your favorite library worker today!

***

Overheard from two library workers going into the library.

“Are you going out with the library staff tonight to celebrate the director’s birthday?”

“No. I’m going to book it home right after work.”

***

A chicken walks into the library. It goes up to the circulation desk and says: “book, bok, bok, boook”.

The librarian hands the chicken a book. It tucks it under his wing and runs out. A while later, the chicken runs back in, throws the first book into the return bin and goes back to the librarian saying: “book, bok, bok, bok, boook”. Again the librarian gives it a book, and the chicken runs out. The librarian shakes her head.

Within a few minutes, the chicken is back, returns the book and starts all over again: “boook, book, bok bok boook”. The librarian gives him yet a third book, but this time as the chicken is running out the door, she follows it.

The chicken runs down the street, through the park and down to the riverbank. There, sitting on a lily pad is a big, green frog. The chicken holds up the book and shows it to the frog, saying: “Book, bok, bok, boook”. The frog blinks, and croaks: “read-it, read-it, read-it”. 

Be well, write well!

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Tuesday Tickle: Brain Power From Puzzles

Creative people need brain power. Brain power brings the good ideas out in the open so we can shape and form them into novels, paintings, or whatever medium it is we work with. Besides inspiration and the right foods, our mental faculties need regular workouts to stay sharp and focused so we can recognize a good idea when we see it. Puzzles are a quick and easy way to keep our thinking powerful. 

How and why do puzzles help our brains stay alert and focused? The brain’s mini-computer runs on “software” much like our laptops and other digital thinking tools. Our brains require attention, processing, cognitive flexibility, the ability to retrieve stored information, and reasoning skills to get us through our basic day. These functions need regular challenge and are strengthened and more readily available to us if we remember to weave brain exercises into our lives.

Schedule creative play and work puzzles on a regular basis and your brain skills will remain sharp and intact for much longer. We all have so much on our plates these days that working a puzzle for brain training rarely crosses our fuzzy minds. Keep it simple and play games on your cell phone, carry around a small word puzzle book, and keep puzzles readily available in the house where it will allow you take just a few minutes on a regular basis and work it out.

Here’s an interactive word search puzzle using words from the Writer Wellness plan to get you started. It’s fun. Try it and then look for other puzzling ways to keep your brain humming. What is your favorite kind of puzzle and why?

Writer Wellness Interactive Word Search Puzzle

 http://www.wordsearchmaker.net/wordsearchplayer.aspx?puzzleid=42e906f1-39ae-431c-ba09-3847845e5b61

**

There are five primary areas of practice to the Writer Wellness plan. Every other week I will post an idea for relaxation (Monday Meditation,) creative play (Tuesday Tickle,) fitness and exercise (Wednesday Workout,) journaling and misc. (Thursday Thought,) and nutrition (Friday Feast.)

Meanwhile, remember to look for a digital or print copy of Writer Wellness, A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity at Who Dares Wins Publishing, http://whodareswinspublishing.com.

Be well, write well.

Joy E. Held

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Tuesday Tickle: Whooey

“So you see, imagination needs moodling—long, inefficient, happy idling, dawdling and puttering.”

                ~Brenda Ueland, author If You Want to Write, A Book About Art, Independence and Spirit

Creative people are dependent on their imaginations. The perpetual answer to, “What if?” fuels the work of artists, choreographers, teachers, writers, and anybody who relies on ideas for sustenance. Ideas are generally responses to sensory input from the world we experience day in and day out. If all it takes is the world to stimulate creative ideas, where did the idea of “writer’s block” come from? How is it possible NOT to have something to write about if all we need is experience? Writers become too comfortable in their surroundings and what feels like consistency becomes boredom. Boredom becomes complacency. When the brain is bored it shuts down. When we stop feeding our brains a variety of sensory impulses, we go on autopilot for a while, then the ideas dry up.

In Julia Cameron’s book The Artist’s Way, she describes a process called “filling the well” as the work creative people require on a regular, ongoing basis in order to maintain “focused attention,” or what I call awareness. Many people think they are aware, but most people are secure in their situations because they have created and repeated them over and over until the sensory organs shut down and they think they are experiencing writer’s block. While it’s popular to say you have or have had writer’s block, I think it’s a bunch of whooey. Because if we journal often enough, read plenty, exercise regularly, avoid foods that cause us problems, and engage the world in new ways then writer’s block is a myth. A writer may not have the whole story plotted out or be writing on the work-in-progress every single day, but as long as that writer keeps the keyboard tapping or the pushing the pen or the body and the mind thinking and moving, they are not blocked. Ever. How does it work?

I was in the audience at a book fair several years ago and young adult bestselling author Phyllis Reynolds Naylor was answering questions. A  young man asked what she did when she had writer’s block. Ms. Naylor responded, “I never have writer’s block. I have writer’s diarrhea. I don’t have time to write all the stories I can think of.” A very prolific writer, Naylor knew that the more she wrote the more she had to write, but everyone gets tired. That’s when the brain needs entertaining and the chance to feed itself with sights, sounds, motions, smells, and feelings it hasn’t experienced recently to shake up the creative juices and get them spilling onto the page again. This is what I refer to as creative play. It’s when a writer takes a leap out into the world and thoughtfully fills her mind with the ideas, arts, and images of other creative people.

It’s more than reading a good book or going to the movies. It’s going to museums, taking walks, taking pictures, doodling in a journal, taking a class in ceramics or ballroom dance, and attending concerts and lectures that open your awareness to the possibilities out there. The practice of creative play or “filling the well” is the opposite of what most writers do all day in their jobs. That’s primarily why it’s such a challenge. Our writing is about us and just us. We manipulate fictional lives and imaginary settings, but creative play demands we go out in the world and gain a new awareness by appreciating the work of other artists. It’s that simple. Appreciate someone else’s work in a deep, thoughtful manner on a regular basis and you will never run out of anything to write.

There are five primary areas of practice to the Writer Wellness plan. Every other week I will post an idea for relaxation (Monday Meditation,) creative play (Tuesday Tickle,) fitness and exercise (Wednesday Workout,) journaling and misc. (Thursday Thought,) and nutrition (Friday Feast.)

Meanwhile, remember to look for a digital or print copy of Writer Wellness, A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity at Who Dares Wins Publishing, http://whodareswinspublishing.com.

And check out these great blogs for ideas to keep your writing and publishing healthy and prosperous.

http://writeitforward.wordpress.com/ Bob Mayer

http://jenniholbrooktalty.wordpress.com/ Jenni Holbrook

http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/ Kristen Lamb

http://inspiration4writers.blogspot.com/ Inspiration for Writers, Inc.

http://pentopublish.blogspot.com/ Natalie Markey

http://amyshojai.com Amy Shojai

Check out my new website Joy E. Held

Have you subscribed to this Writer Wellness blog yet? Get email updates when a new post is added. Click “subscribe” and leave your email. That’s it and thanks in advance!

Be well, write well.

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Tuesday Tickle: Head Games

 

In the exploding world of brain research, it’s being proven that play is healthy for your brain. Most people love to play games. Growing up my house was filled with games and gamers, although we didn’t call ourselves gamers back then. We played card games, board games, music and dance games, and learning games in my house almost every day. My mother was a dance teacher and my father played alot of musical instruments so our house was pretty busy with some kind of creative endeavor all of the time.

We not only learned skills and strategy, we learned competiveness. And we learned to think like someone else. If we could figure out how someone at the game table was thinking, it was possible to win the game by thinking like them but ahead of their thoughts. That’s strategy training.

Games were really big and the holidays were really special because it meant we didn’t have to stop playing a particular game to go back to school. My favorite Christmas was at age seven when I received Monopoly as a gift and my dad, sister, and I played the game for four days without stopping until one of us won. I couldn’t wait for the weekends as a child because it meant extra time to play games.

What good is playing a game? Were you “taught” that games are a waste of time? Too bad, because playing games creates new brain cells and new brain cells mean better quality of life because new brain cells help use function and cope longer and better. Work a crossword puzzle, play a video game, or play cards with family friends. It is proven that playing games challenges your brain and increases its ability to function.

The practice of using your brain to think through a game’s strategy and then implement your plan keeps things like memory and focus in tact. Playing a variety of games such as working puzzles and playing board games encourages your brain to build new brain cells in response to the mental challenges. These cells prosper when challenged continually. Playing games helps your memory to function better just because you practice using your memory when playing games.

Don’t play games with other people’s heads. Engage in gaming to strengthen and lengthen your own brain’s capabilities. As my college teachers used to say, “Play is learning.” Cool.

What is your favorite game? Do you know why it’s your favorite game?

(Fall Fairy by K. Held)

Writer Wellness, A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity

Who Dares Wins Publishing  www.whodareswinspublishing.com

There are  five primary areas of practice to the the Writer Wellness plan. Every other week I will post an idea for relaxation (Monday Meditation,) creative play (Tuesday Tickle,) fitness and exercise (Wednesday Workout,) journaling and misc. (Thursday Thought,) and nutrition (Friday Feast.)

Meanwhile, remember to look for a digital or print copy of Writer Wellness, A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity at Who Dares Wins Publishing, http://whodareswinspublishing.com.

 

And check out these great blogs for ideas to keep your writing and publishing healthy and prosperous.

 

http://writeitforward.wordpress.com/ Bob Mayer

 

http://jenniholbrooktalty.wordpress.com/ Jenni Holbrook

 

http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/ Kristen Lamb

 

http://inspiration4writers.blogspot.com/ Inspiration for Writers, Inc.

 

http://pentopublish.blogspot.com/ Natalie Markey

 

http://amyshojai.com Amy Shojai

 

Check out my new website Joy E. Held

 

Have you subscribed to this Writer Wellness blog yet? Get email updates when a new post is added. Click “subscribe” and leave your email. That’s it and thanks in advance!

 

 

 

Be well, write well

 

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Tuesday Tickle: Guest Joanna Aislinn Offers An Idea for Some Quick Pampering

Quick Pampering

Hi all. These thoughts came to me a week or so ago, when hormones were making me crazy and I was seeing the world in one of those weepy-way days.

Every last thing was making me feel overwhelmed: the house; the price of gas; not utilizing my time well and thinking about all I had to do (or wanted to get done) in just a few hours.

I was in serious need of a mental shift and lucky enough to be feeling that way when I wasn’t scheduled to work the day job. I headed upstairs to face the bedroom that needed some attention and to figure out what I’d wear.

Maybe getting dressed forced me to notice my feet, which hadn’t seen an official (i.e., spa) pedicure since the summer. Since I’m lousy at scaring out the 45 minutes that would take (and often too restless to sit through it anyway), I grabbed the Ped-Egg and got to work. Within 20 minutes (possibly less) I was heading into the shower with much smoother skin at the ends of my lower extremities.

The process got my mind off my blues, and I can’t imagine scrubbing with some force didn’t help channel some negative energy out either, lol.)

IMPORTANT: If you have any problems with circulation or bleeding (i.e., are diabetic, take blood thinners, etc) DO NOT DO YOUR OWN PEDICURE. Talk to a podiatrist, who can steer you in the best direction given your condition.

For the rest of you, your own pedicure is easy. Just follow these steps!

(1) Keep feet dry and use the Ped-Egg to slough dead, roughened skin off anywhere on your feet you find it. (For those who can’t reach their feet, get hold of a foot rasp—usually available at dollar stores and pharmacies. Use Velcro to attach a longer handle—a wooden spatula is great—to the rasp’s handle. With that, you’ll get down to the heels pretty easily. Getting under the foot is a bigger challenge—one this occupational-therapist-by-trade needs to think about.)

(2) Don’t wet those feet yet! Once you’ve sloughed to smoothness, make a scrub with liquid hand soap and borax (yep, the inexpensive 20-Mule-Team box from the laundry aisle at any supermarket). Squirt a dollop of soap onto your dry palm and sprinkle enough borax on the soap to cover it. Apply directly to your skin and scrub away what’s left of those rough patches. (Borax tends to soften skin. Who knew?) Take it one step further and scrub your legs too!

(3) Rinse with warm water for a soothing effect. If you want to perk those legs and/or feet up, finish with a blast of cool—not cold—water.

(4) Apply your favorite scented lotion. (Lavender or vanillas are soothing. Peppermint is great for waking those toesies up!) If you’re doing this on a cold day, put socks or stockings on while your feet are a bit moist. If you’re bed-bound, consider putting on a heavier-duty ointment (i.e., petroleum jelly or Avon’s Moisture Therapy, which is based in petroleum jelly. Eucerin, Kerry and Curel products are great too, and my dollar store has an awesome creamy petroleum jelly that’s pretty amazing.)

(5) Pat yourself on the back for having done something nice for yourself! Take it a step further: prop those puppies up in your favorite relaxing hangout and read or just wind down for a little longer. J

Thanks, Joy, for allowing me this opportunity to share with your readers and fans one way I take care of myself.

All good thoughts to everyone,

Joanna Aislinn guest blogJoanna Aislinn

I am a wife, mother, day-job holder, mega-fan of tennis (go Rafa, Djok and Roger) and recently football  (Go Giants–so psyched for Super Bowl XLVI) She’s an avid reader. My writing roots stretch back to my early teenage days. At present, I’m fine-tuning the sequel to NO MATTER WHY, my debut novel. (For those who like, you can still snag an e-copy and/or print copy over at Amazon, while I transition into a new, to be determined phase of my writer’s life.) I’m also developing a third story in the series and working on some more free reads (for posting when the time is right J; there are, however, quite a few already at my blog).  When I’m not writing reports for work (or cleaning) I’m learning about promo, making on-line friends while building my web presence and looking for ways to connect with the readers!
 
Visit me at my website and blog, and I’d be honored if you choose to follow me on Twitter and/or friend me on Facebook!
 
 
 
Joanna Aislinn
Dream. Believe. Strive. Achieve!
NO MATTER WHY
The Wild Rose Press (available now!)
www.joannaaislinn.com
www.joannaaislinn.wordpress.com

There are five primary areas of practice to the Writer Wellness plan. Every other week I will post an idea for relaxation (Monday Meditation,) creative play (Tuesday Tickle,) fitness and exercise (Wednesday Workout,) journaling and misc. (Thursday Thought,) and nutrition (Friday Feast.)

Meanwhile, remember to look for a digital or print copy of Writer Wellness, A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity at Who Dares Wins Publishing, http://whodareswinspublishing.com.

And check out these great blogs for ideas to keep your writing and publishing healthy and prosperous.

http://writeitforward.wordpress.com/ Bob Mayer

http://jenniholbrooktalty.wordpress.com/ Jenni Holbrook

http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/ Kristen Lamb

http://inspiration4writers.blogspot.com/ Inspiration for Writers, Inc.

http://pentopublish.blogspot.com/ Natalie Markey

http://amyshojai.com Amy Shojai

Check out my new website Joy E. Held

Have you subscribed to this Writer Wellness blog yet? Get email updates when a new post is added. Click “subscribe” and leave your email. That’s it and thanks in advance!

Be well, write well

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