Joy Held's Writer Wellness

"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 www.whodareswinspublishing.com. 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, http://whodareswinspublishing.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.)

 

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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Wednesday Workout: I don’t have time

 I once read in a pop icon’s autobiography that none of his work was his own. He considered himself a vessel or a conduit for some unseen, powerful creative spirit and it was his duty to deliver these songs and dances to the world for this artistic deity. What if he was right? What if there is a master puppeteer pulling on our strings and sending us the ideas? For the sake of argument, shouldn’t we be in good condition to accept these wonderful creations? Would we fail the great artist if we were full of nicotine, fat, caffeine, drugs, and booze and didn’t have room to take in the art? Yes, there are scores of unhealthy artistic people who have left their marks on society but think of how much more valuable work we might have known from them if they were in better physical shape.

Except for those who have just landed on our fair planet, the rest of us are aware of the positive benefits of physical exercise. Weight loss, muscle tone, cardiovascular conditioning, longevity, improved mood, and better sex can all be the results of regular activity such as walking, yoga, and lifting weights. Granted, I’m simplifying things because I want to get to my point: what is the point of exercising? We know about the results, but what is the point? If we are going to be artistic chalices full of great ideas and inspiration, there has to be room for all that stuff. The main point of physical exercise is to remove toxins from the inside out to improve and regulate our bodily functions. Sluggishness creates more writer’s block and missed deadlines than lack of inspiration. When our bodies are full of crap, we can’t create as well. We have to exercise to help move all the crap out of our systems literally and figuratively.

“I will tell you what I have learned myself. For me, a long five or six mile walk helps. And one must go alone and every day.”

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

Let’s cut to the chase. If you exercise physically on a regular and consistent basis, your writing will show marked improvement over time and it will be ENJOYABLE. Writing is downright painful and exhausting when writers are already bogged down with sweat, free radicals, evil thoughts and whatever else is built up in the body and mind from lack of trying to wring it from their very souls. But who has the time?

“I don’t have time” is the lazy person’s excuse. And it also means they have set unrealistic expectations for exercise. These ideals are crafted to set the person up for failure. So rather than schedule yourself to run the Boston marathon in the spring, design an exercise schedule that is manageable and practical for your individual needs.  Here are three quick ideas.

  1. Keep two soft stress balls on your desk. Every hour stand up and squeeze the balls with your hands for one minute. Increase cardiovascular benefits by raising and lowering your arms as you squeeze.
  2. Get a wooden foot roller thingy and keep it on the floor under your desk. Every hour, take off your shoes and massage the bottoms of your feet with the roller.
  3. Take a walk every day. Inside on the treadmill or outside on the sidewalk. Start with five minutes and work up a thirty-minute walk several times a week.

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: Renaming Today “Muse-day”

“Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.”

                ~Stephen King, On Writing

Waiting on inspiration? Really? That writer must not need the money or realize how important the process is. It’s just as important as the product when it comes to writing. Lots of us know we have a mysterious “writing muscle”, and true, it needs a kick in the thing we use to hold chairs down with but the process doesn’t require inspiration to be put into gear. The process requires perspiration. And since the advent of the psychological term “writer’s block”, the invention of a muse is popular when it comes to needing the proper impulse to write. What is a muse anyway? Is it the inner critic? Is it a secret font of ideas stored in our subconscious we just have to tap into for stuff to write about? Is it some guy sitting in the basement smoking cigars admiring his bowling trophies (more Stephen King) while we struggle for the stream of words that make us writers? Muse, inspiration, whatever, are all just another word for courage. Are we brave enough to be the writers we dream we are?

What the muse or the inspiration may actually be is the time it takes for our brains to sort through the muck of stimulations we absorb constantly and bring something cohesive to the surface. That’s why English professors have a far off look in their eyes all the time. It explains why novelists spill things. Brain work for writers is the equivalent of an intense cardio workout for not the recommended thirty-minute session with a cool-down afterward, but a continual mind boggling distraction until we figure it out. Then we have something to write. The muse is our minds organizing the clutter of the process until the words fall into place and we can fill the pages with them. There is no inspiration. There is only the process of thinking, connecting, writing drivel, and more thinking until it becomes the answer to the question we have asked with our stories. The muse is the imaginary delivery girl dressed or undressed in the costume of your own mental doing. She (or he or it) gives us somewhere to place the blame while we’re waiting on the brain to tidy up the mess of stuff we’ve fed it. But it’s the writing process that enables the brain to have what it needs. So keep the process going: journal, write ugly grammar, blog, and read, read, read until the muse is inspired enough to bless you with the story.

 

“Biting my truant pen, beating myself for spite:

‘Fool!’ said my Muse to me, ‘look in thy heart and write.’”

                ~Sir Philip Sidney (1554-1586)

                Astrophel and Stella, Sonnet I

This inspiration-muse thing has been going on for quite a while. But notice the Muse says, “…and write.” She doesn’t say, “Take a seat, honey, and when I get this figured out for you, I’ll call.”

Will you take the process challenge this “Muse-day” and give her something, anything to work with?

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

Leave a comment »

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, 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: Books that changed my life week

THE ARTIST’S WAY by Julia Cameron with Mark Bryan changed the lives of a lot of writers and artists when it appeared in 1992. It delivers on its claim to be “A spiritual path to higher creativity.” The foundation of Cameron and Bryan’s twelve-step approach is the journaling practice they call morning pages. When some people read the rules of morning pages about sitting down every morning and writing three pages of whatever in long hand, they put the book in the donate box and never looked at it again. Not everybody has the time to devote to a serious journaling exercise as suggested by Cameron and Bryan, but anyone who has ever taken up the challenge to follow the morning page routine as described is changed forever and never look back on the dry, stale, uncreative days of the past. With the space and freedom created by regular journal writing, no artist has to waste time on worrying about blocked spells of unjuicy times. Following the morning pages routine even just once in a career without cheating or missing a day for whatever time period you set (a month, twelve weeks, etc.) will reboot your creative powers. Whenever you’re feeling low, return to the morning pages and watch the blocks melt away and the creative juices flow again.

“Morning pages are nonnegotiable. Never skip or skimp on morning pages. Your mood doesn’t matter. The rotten thing your Censor says doesn’t matter. We have this idea that we need to be in the mood to write. We don’t.”

“Morning pages will teach you that your mood doesn’t really matter. Some of the best creative work gets done on the days when you feel that everything you’re doing is just plain junk. The morning pages will teach you to stop judging and just let yourself write. So what if you’re tired, crabby, distracted, stressed? Your artist is a child and it needs to be fed. Morning pages feed your artist child. So write your morning pages.” (THE ARTIST’S WAY, Julia Cameron with Mark Bryan)

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

1 Comment »

Thursday Thought: “A-Musing” Guest Post by Natalie C. Markey

Thursday Thought: What’s in a muse and other “writerly” motivations?

By Natalie C. Markey

 

All writers have their thing. That thing that keeps you going, keeps you writing. For my non-fiction, ‘Caring for Your Special Needs Dog’ and now the second book in progress, my muse is my dog Oscar. He is always on my feet and serves as a constant reminder of how wonderful dogs are. I want to do well by him so that I can donate more money to the Neurological unit at Texas A&M School of Veterinarian Medicine.

            For my fiction work, I just love to read fantasy. I love the escape into a new and exciting place. When I was little I use to sit in my closet and pray that I would find my way into Narnia. I should have known at that moment that I would be a writer with an imagination like that!

With my freelancing, my motivation is my general curious nature. I love writing about anything and therefore learning about so many topics. I enjoy variety and avoiding boredom.

Sometimes that leap into becoming a writer takes a while to make. For me it was a gradual transition. I recently wrote on “taking that leap” and how I wish I had done it sooner. What is your becoming a writer story? What is your muse or motivation? Everyone has a story to tell other than the ones we write. I’d love to hear your story in a comment below.

 

My non-fiction CARING FOR YOUR SPECIAL NEEDS DOG is currently available for $2.99! A percentage of the profits go to The Texas A&M Foundation to the benefit of the Neurology Section, Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinarian Medicine.

 

Thank you again to Joy for allowing me to be your guest. For more information on my projects you can visit my blog, Pen to Publish and my NatalieCMarkey.com

 

Love your work, Natalie! Thanks for the inspiration today!

2 Comments »

Thursday Thought: Guest Natalie Clark Doesn’t Believe In Writer’s Block

The Cure to the Dreaded Writers Block

A common stress for many writers is writers block. A great way to ease your stress, of course is through meditation as Joy E. Held discusses in her book, ‘Writer Wellness.’ I offer another solution that writers can implement in addition to meditation. First of all, let me tell you—THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS WRITER’S BLOCK! I do not believe in writer’s block. I believe in setting your mind to the task of writing and it will come. Whenever I am stumbling with a scene, I simply move on or switch projects. When I go back to the troublesome scene I see that it wasn’t the scene, just my mindset at the moment. Only you can find your own answer to curing “writer’s block.” Mine? Exercise. Yes, I have deadlines, a baby, a high maintenance dog and a husband who has a limited selection in his cooking repertoire BUT I schedule time for my fitness. It’s amazing what an hour in the gym can do to my mind. I also make time to laugh. Put something humorous around your workstation. The attached picture is something I found in my Grandfather’s office after he passed away. It never fails to make me laugh.

I also love to love on my dog, Oscar. Taking a few minutes off to hug and play with him is another great way that I clear my mind. Recently, fellow dog author, Amy Shojai wrote on the health benefits of having a dog. She focused on actual health conditions such as high blood pressure but I know that Oscar helps me with my stress. To read Amy’s article click here. I also encourage writers to experience with other genres. This is easy for me since I dabble in many writing areas such as my freelance work, non-fiction book series and my YA and MG fiction novels. By switching projects you will find that you never get bored or stuck on anything. If you only write in one area that is fine but try out another style of writing. You will be amazed at how you will grow as a writer. What do you do to limit your stress during a deadline rush? How do you battle with “writer’s block,” if you even believe it exists? Thank you, Joy for allowing me the opportunity to share this information with your readers.

My book, ‘CARING FOR YOUR SPECIAL NEEDS DOG’ is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and my publisher’s site, Who Dares Wins Publishing. A percentage of profits go to The Texas A&M Foundation to the benefit of the Neurology Section, Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinarian Medicine.

 

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

 

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.

Leave a comment »

Tuesday Tickle: Creativity Cannot Be Timed

 

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,) ournaling and misc. (Thursday Thought,) and nutrition (Friday Feast.)

It was a fascinating lesson in journalism class one day when our professor gave us the definition of “deadline.” Being public school zombies, we understood the message of turning things in on time, but Ms. Phipps continued with our lesson and enlightened us to the derivation and still prominent use of said “deadline”.

Courtesy of Webster: deadline-1.A time limit, as for payment of a debt or completion of an assignment. (This is the definition we were well acquainted with.) 2. A boundary line in a prison that prisoner’s can cross only at the risk of being shot. (In the back we assumed.)

There is conclusive written evidence of the word “deadline” being used as early as 1864 concerning the boundaries at Union and Confederate prisons such as Andersonville and Camp Oglethorpe in Georgia. The image of being gunned down still haunts me when I set or receive a deadline for an assignment. There are penalties to pay for missing deadlines. This is another example of time gone wrong in the wrong hands. 

Creativity rebels when given a deadline. It’s another contradictory situation to be sitting between a deadline and a blank page. So we have to devise methods to trick our creativity into staying juicy and accessible so whenever we need some we just turn on the tap and out comes the good stuff. “Impossible,” we hear from disgruntled artisans who have been waiting perhaps years for the good sentence or the great painting. Creativity doesn’t respond well to commands either, but it can be cajoled and caressed out of the vessel and onto the page with a few regular habits. 

Here are some tried and true tricks for keeping creativity hot and ready at a moment’s notice.

1.Journal-writing down thoughts, ideas, crap, and general observations is an exercise that creativity responds to happily. Keep it simple and journal habitually. Just a few words a day keeps the writing muscle in shape.

2.Blog-you don’t have to maintain a blog to write in them. Find blogs online with interests similar to yours, read and respond regularly.

3.Read-sounds simple, but keep a pile of a variety of reading materials accessible and where it will remind you to spend fifteen minutes every day reading whatever you want. Variety is the key. 

What do you do to keep your creativity ready at the drop of a hat? 

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

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.

2 Comments »

Thursday Thought: National Poem In Your Pocket Day

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.)

 Even if you aren’t much of a poet yourself, you can take part in the very civilized and very literary National Poem In Your Pocket day today (April 14, 2011.) The promotions explain it this way:

 The idea is simple: Select a poem, pocket it, carry it, and share it with family, friends, and coworkers throughout the day.

 The Academy of American Poets sponsors this activity and have free poems to download just for your pocket.

http://www.poets.org/page.php/prmID/406

 Here’s what I’m carrying in my pocket today:

“To Save The Glen”

How soft the morning mist of Glens,

How quiet the raging, howling winds.

The Id repose to praise and thanks,

But all are not amiss these ranks.

La Sola rise to mark the start,

In trade and deed to show our smart.

September 11 steals the stage,

The Universe convulsed with rage.

A mighty clash of dark and light,

The former struck, the latter fight.

Visions and words impart the horror,

Innocence and peace denied the Moor.

Thy sheath is bared; they steed is clothed,

Our light is set to right the loath.

The Glen erupts, the light blaze bright

Now Heavens ROAR with rockets might.

So, Id must choose twix light and dark—

To save the Glen or lose our mark.

~George A. Gunter, Jr. (1933-2007)

 What poem will you share today?

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

Be well, write well.

2 Comments »

Tuesday Tickle: Creative Play Date

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.)

Creative play is the focus of Tuesday Tickle here at Writer Wellness. It’s an intentionally vague topic to allow me lots of juicy wiggle room to explore whatever I want. And that’s exactly what creative play is all about. Exploring whatever we want that pumps up our creative salivary glands and gets us back in the groove of writing.

I call it creative play because I recommend messing around in fun stuff and each one of you gets to define what fun stuff means to you. Creative play is also the primary means of filling the well when it’s feeling dry. That’s of sign of the dreaded writer’s block creeping up behind us. And although the world acknowledges the existence of writer’s block, we don’t have to be hypochondriacal and sit around and wait to catch it. With regular experiences with creative play, writer’s block is completely avoidable, and no prescription drugs are required to bolster our immune systems (sorry.)

Creative play is a simple prescription: do something creative. That’s it. It must be creative and must be enjoyable and it counts as creative play if it is capable of filling your well and keeping you juicy and filled with ideas for writing. And less fear. How’s that? Writer’s block is fear based in my opinion. Expectations, deadlines, pressures, and bills to pay can sure wreak havoc on a writer’s psyche and cause us to feel overwhelmed and incapable of writing. Participating in creative play is a great medicine for alleviating the fear. But most of us need a permission slip to participate in creative play because we have gotten into the nasty habit of thinking that writing is work. It is, but it’s supposed to be work we love. We are one of the few professions that can genuinely claim that we work at something we love. Getting paid is a bonus.

So, here’s your permission slip:

I, Joy Held, give YOU permission to enjoy a regular creative play date to do something fun, crazy, enlightening, and relaxing. 

Here are some ideas from my own recent creative play dates:

I attended the local college student art show at the museum. Saw some really great beginning works that reminded me that we all start out the same way: with a crayon. Also discovered a new artist whose work is very powerful and I intend to look into more of her projects.

Woke up on Saturday and decided to paint every wooden clothes pin in the house. Spent a few minutes gathering them up and used assorted colors of spray paint to decorate a hundred clothes pins. Now when I’m hanging laundry or securing a bread bag, my colorful day of painting in the sunshine comes to mind and refreshes me.

I read and write reviews for a lot of young adult books. Just recently I read the latest collection of short stories from fantasy author Tamora Pierce TORTALL AND OTHER LANDS, A COLLECTION OF TALES. The stories included new and old characters and even a tale entitled “Huntress” that I heard Pierce read aloud at a convention in 2005 before it was published. Reading outside the genre I write keeps me honest and respectful of the craft. Here’s the link to the review:

http://teenreads.com/reviews/9780375866760.asp

What do you do to stay healthy and avoid writer’s block?

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

 Be well, write well.

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