Joy Held's Writer Wellness

"Be well, write well."

Who is your writing champion?

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

From the Joy desk

Hi, sweet reader!

This is our moment. Yours and mine. And as my fifth-grade teacher, Mrs. Mary Young, was very fond of repeating, “You can’t get this moment back, so don’t waste it.”

Many years later, I think about Mrs. Young using this call-to-action to teach eleven-year-olds the value of time. I believed and followed everything Mrs. Young said. She was the first teacher to encourage my writing and tell me that I could and should follow the path of a writer. Even though she knew that I was the heir apparent to my mother’s thriving ballet school, (Mrs. Young’s granddaughter took ballet from my mother,) Mrs. Young let me know that I was a writer. She was also the first person to impress the importance and meaning of a deadline. She is why I became a writer, got a journalism degree, and have pursued the craft and publishing for fifty (yep) years.

The point of this vignette is that everyone must have a champion, someone who sees their potential and supports them in every way, even when the going is tough, and the champion falls off the horse. Who is that person for you? Who first voiced, “You can do this” convincingly enough to motivate you to pursue it? This person is due your thanks.

I often thank Mrs. Young in my journal and sometimes I complain to her that being an author isn’t a piece of cake. Those are the moments when I’ve fallen off the horse and am looking up from the dirt searching for someone to blame. That’s when the query letter doesn’t hit the mark. When a reviewer says something less than adoring (they’re allowed, but it still stings.) Simply dumping my frustrations into the journal helps clear away the doubt, and I’m able to remind myself that writing and teaching it is what I do. I get up, dust off my cheeks, get back into the office chair, and start typing or researching or whatever again. It’s what I do.

I write, publish, and teach to reach out, to connect with other people. Thanks to Mrs. Young, I have the belief (not always the confidence because I’m just human) that my words and ideas may help someone else.

This support notion applies to everything, every field, and every person. Who first pointed out that you make a fabulous fill-in-the-blank and drove you to be better at it? Send this wonderful soul an unsent letter of thanks by writing to them in your journal. Unsend the letter. Keep it in your journal, unless you want to send it in some way-message in a bottle, email, snail mail. It’s all good.

All good things,


Women with clean houses do not have finished books.

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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:

All good things,


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:

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Reflective Writing and Springboards


My backgrounds are in journalism, creative writing, and education. I am or have been a teacher of dance, yoga, meditation, writing, health, history, and theatre. When I homeschooled my beautiful daughters for 18 years, I even dabbled in teaching science and math!

Regardless of the subject or setting, I ask students to pause on a regular basis and actively reflect on what they have learned. That reflection usually requires

  • writing about the experience of learning
  • examining how the learning fits into the current state of things for a student
  • how the newly acquired knowledge can be used in the future

This written self-exploration is what constitutes reflective writing over basic journal keeping. All forms of journal writing have value in my opinion. We are going to address journaling from this perspective to help you as a writer clarify your thoughts about life and work.

What Is Reflective Writing?

Reflective writing differs very little from other terms such as journaling, expressive writing, and creative journaling. What it does offer is a perspective on the practice of keeping a journal that defines the action as a way to collect, dissect, and reflect on a vast array of things. Everything from daily life to business documentation to emotional venting is fair game to go into a journal, but the sense of being more responsive to the writing and the events qualify journal entries to be considered reflective.

If you’re already a fan or regular practitioner of journaling, you will understand when journal therapy teacher Kathleen Adams says,

“There’s a friend at the end of your pen which you can use to help you solve personal or business problems, get to know all the different parts of yourself, explore your creativity, heal your relationships, develop your intuition…and much more. (13)

Essentially, reflective writing differs from basic journal writing because the writer writes about an experience, writes about any feelings, emotions, or ideas attached to the experience, then moves beyond the original experience to learn more and repeat the reflective writing practice.

What Are Journal Springboards?

What if you’re new to the idea of journaling, have reservations, or don’t know where to start? That’s where the “Springboards” journaling technique comes in handy. It’s the practice of responding in writing to a prompt, an unfinished sentence, a question, a “what if” statement, and it is a wonderful tool to keep the pen moving across the page or the fingers punching the keyboard.

How Do Springboards Help Writers Journal?

“What should I write about?” (a springboard in its own right,) isn’t a problem where springboards are present. They are easy to answer and easy to create. Simply write about whatever pops into your head in response to a springboard.

Let’s Ink About It Journal Activity

Choose a springboard prompt from the list and journal about it for at least 250 words or as long as you like. Do this as many times as you wish. Once a day for a week is a great way to establish a journaling habit. Simply pick a springboard, copy it into your journal and write free form without stopping. Remember to keep building on ideas as they pop up for you, and keep a lid on the inner critic!

There are three things I want to accomplish (today, this week, this year, etc.) are…


Right now, I’m feeling…


What I value most in my relationship with ___ is…


I’m proud of myself for…


Today was a (great, lousy, hectic, etc.) day because…


What I really want from ____ is…


I need to set better boundaries in the ___ area of my life because ___, and this is how I’m going to do it and why.


The best part about being me is…


The worst part about being me is…


If I could meet someone I haven’t seen in a while, it would be ___ and I would tell them…


I remember…


(Adams 78)

Upcoming Online Workshop: Writer Wellness

I hope you’ll join me in June for an online workshop on Writer Wellness hosted by the Yosemite Romance Writers. It’s open to everyone and the cost is very reasonable in my opinion!

All good things,


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

Adams, Kathleen. Journal to the Self: Twenty-two Paths to Personal Growth. Grand Central Publishing, 1990.

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Journaling: The Soul of Writer Wellness


“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.


“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,


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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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”

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

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.

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.

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.




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


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



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.





Thursday Thot: Filling the well

Look around. Is your work…well, is it ‘work’ and not one exciting, innovative creation after another? Could your material be so predictable that you are in what dancer/choreographer Twyla Tharp calls “a false start?” Tharp defines a “false start,” or a creative rut as different from being blocked and most definitely different from being in a good groove. “A rut is the part of the journey where you’re spinning your wheels, spitting out mud behind you, splattering other people, and not going anywhere. You know you’re in a rut when you annoy other people, bore your collaborators and supporters, fail to challenge yourself, and get the feeling that the world is moving on while you’re standing still. You may also feel that you’ve been here before; déjà vu, with some flop sweat on the side, is a sure sign of a rut. Perhaps the surest sign is a feeling of frustration and relief when you’re done (“Boy, I’m glad that’s over!”) rather than anticipatory pleasure (“I can’t wait to get back here tomorrow.”) Call it consistency, following a syllabus, or teaching a “graded system,” you know when your work is dry and uninspired. It happens to everyone. Don’t worry. There are some simple ideas to help refresh your artistry and renew the feeling of, “I love being me!” that every creative person knows.

If the inspiration inclination has temporarily slipped away and writing another page feels like pulling teeth (your own,) it could be a simple matter of needing to “fill the well” as writer Julia Cameron refers to in her book “The Artist’s Way.” Cameron says that the artist’s brain relies on images and that creativity is sometimes blocked or stymied by a lack of artistic brain food. Cameron recommends regular “artist dates” with yourself to “restock the pond” of artful ideas you seem to be lacking.

For an artist date, you simply schedule yourself to attend a thought provoking artistic event like a gallery opening or orchestra concert and ingest the sensations all around to help replenish your own source of creative energy. Cameron suggests a habitual practice of artist dates until you understand the ebb and flow of your creativity and how to use the work of other inspired creators to support your own creations.

When I first tried the regular artist date, it annoyed me because I felt like I was being taken away from my own work. Cameron and Tharp both claim that resistance is a sure sign that a respite is most assuredly the best medicine. After a year of consistently attending art shows, poetry readings, and independent film showings, I noticed a rush of recurrent creativity to the point where I can hardly keep up with myself today!

I heard a lecture by children’s author Phyllis Reynolds Naylor who summed up how I feel. Someone asked her what she did for writer’s block. “I don’t have writer’s block,” she said. “I have so many ideas floating around in my head all the time that I have writer’s diarrhea!” I now have a habit of enjoying the work of other artists and I’m positive it contributes to my never-ending flow of creativity and ideas.

Inspiration is always available to the artist who understands that creativity is a process dependent on many details. Here are some ideas to consider.

Low budget

1) Read books and magazines on creativity.

2) Start a journal. You will be amazed at the creative freedom you can experience from a regular habit of journaling.

3) Find an online community of artists and communicate.

4) Attend free art events like gallery showings, outdoor concerts, and crafts fairs.

Medium budget

1) Take classes from another local teacher. Online classes are getting better and better. Try one of the online workshops at Who Dares Wins Publishing Learning rejuvenates the creative spirit.

2) Analyze the work of other artists. Take pencil and paper and write down what you see or read in videos and books and dissect the creativity of others. Explain to yourself why they did what they did, and then how you would have done it differently and why.

3) Attend poetry readings, art shows, etc. at the local gallery or coffee shop.

4) Cruise through a history museum or see a local theatre production. 

High budget

1) Travel to an artist’s retreat or big city where art is revered and the process is respected. Take part in performances, conferences, workshops, and activities that allow you to deeply experience the art.

2) Take college courses at home or far away that will expand your appreciation of creativity.

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,

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.)


And check out these great blogs for ideas to keep your writing and publishing healthy and prosperous. Bob Mayer Jenni Holbrook Kristen Lamb Inspiration for Writers, Inc. Natalie Markey 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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Thursday Thot: “Words-day” Instead of Thursday

Although I am a fan of Thor, the god of Thunder and big biceps, I am proceeding with my revolt against the common names for the days of the week and renaming today “Words-day”. Good-bye Thursday, at least for the moment. My journaling thot for this “Words-day” is taken from an exercise courtesy of the amazing social media expert Kristen Lamb presented in her BLOGING FOR AUTHOR BRAND online workshop. She presents an interesting quandry for someone just starting out as a blog trekker when she assigns class members to describe themselves in 100 words.

“ASSIGNMENT: Write at least 100 individual words that describe you. If you were a jar of pasta sauce, these would be the ingredients. Memories, favorite bands, favorite movies, favorite songs, foods, etc.” (Kristen Lamb, 2012)

We’re all writers here in some form or another. What’s a hundred words? We can write a hundred words in our sleep and forget the most important parts unless we wake up in the middle of the night and write them down. What’s so difficult about one hundred individual words about ME? Try it. Post it here and let me know how it feels to go that deep.  Happy “Words-day”!

Joy: mom, wife, daughter, sister, aunt, care giver, maid, cook, bottle washer, laundress, driver, gardner, yogini, author, teacher, friend, lover, reader, pizza lover, entrepreneur, book reviewer, nurse, journal fanatic, Internet junkie, executrix, trustee, employee, boss, legal advisor, bill collector, bill payer, postal clerk, tweeter, scorpio, organizer, shopper, bling lover, blogger, email clerk, Pepsi addict, baggy eyed, long haired, big nosed, opinionated, moody, different, stubborn, competitive, football crazy, sports lover, spirit loving, traffic cop, paper grader, hugger, editor, submissions guru, romantic, germ-a-phobe, giving, funny, average, caring, systematic, lazy, insomniac, moon lover, cartwheeler, head stander champ, jewelry hog, black tights freak, neice, grand daughter, cousin, Facebooking, girl.

Show me yours!

Be well, write well.



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Thursday Thot: Looking Back to Understand the Future

Something I recommend in Writer Wellness is looking back through old journals we’ve written. It’s a meta-cognitive exercise that actively engages our minds with the path we’ve taken while giving us a hint of where we could be headed. I don’t mean to sound contradictory or psychic. Reviewing what we’ve written in our journals is just a good healthy way to check in and see what’s missing and give ourselves the opportunity to think about how to fill in the gaps of life. For instance, I have looked back through journals I kept for 2011 and realized that something I enjoy is spending time with friends and I don’t get enough of it. I also noticed that I wrote about wanting to do more leisure activities such as attending sports events which I really love. Now I make time for more of these things in my life and consciously tell my inner critic that I don’t HAVE to have the toilets clean and all the laundry done before I can go out and play. Consequently I had a marvelous latter half of the 2011 because I didn’t miss a home football game at the college where I teach, and I invited seven friends out to lunch at the same time, and we had a splendid time!

Here’s your challenge. Look back on the year 2011 in your mind and in your journals or on your calendars before you trash them and identify something missing in your life that you want to change. Tell me about it in a comment to this post no later than next Thursday, Jan. 12, and you’ll be entered into a drawing for a month of personal Writer Wellness coaching with me via email. And if you don’t have a copy of the book, that’s yours too. So look back on your life as you’ve kept track of it and decide what steps you want to take to make the path you’re on brighter and healthier. I’m here to help.

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,

And check out these great blogs for ideas to keep your writing and publishing healthy and prosperous. Bob Mayer Jenni Holbrook Kristen Lamb Inspiration for Writers, Inc. Natalie Markey 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


Thursday Thot: Stillness and Journaling

One great side effect to journaling is learning to still the inner critic. Regularly throwing caution to the wind and writing down whatever you want without regard for grammatical correctness is very liberating. Being able to say whatever you want in writing but not sharing it with the eyes of others helps clear away the junk when it comes time to think a creative project through to the finish. It isn’t always obvious, but the things we worry about, wish we hadn’t said out loud, or want to happen create a fog in our brains and emotions. This misty blinder can easily poison our creativity by spilling ideas into our work that shouldn’t be there. The work is the work. The therapy is in the journal pages and should not be in the creative process.

So even when you don’t want to journal, think of it as an opportunity to still the inner judge who stops the creative process when we need it the most. Look at journaling as a chance to recognize when the critic is creeping up behind you and learn how to silence it with the writing. Actually write/speak to the inner critic in your journal and tell it to be still when you are working. When you feel it sneaking through the work, you’ll recognize it and be able to stop and send it back to stillness so you can get on with creating. The critic is there for a reason and the journal is a safe place for it to come out and play and for you to learn how to manage it.

Try this inner critic busting journaling exercise: write about a problem and talk about what different people you know would say about the issue. What would your spouse think? What would your parents say? How would your boss fix it? This is a playful and practical way to give your inner judge several faces and hear what she has to say from different angles.

What practices do you use to silence and master your inner critic?

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,

And check out these great blogs for ideas to keep your writing and publishing healthy and prosperous. Bob Mayer Jenni Holbrook Kristen Lamb Inspiration for Writers, Inc. Natalie Markey 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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