Writer Wellness and Five Things for Your Writing

The Beginning of Writer Wellness

The idea for my book Writer Wellness: A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity (Headline Books, Inc., 2020) and workshop 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 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. This article is a peek into what I learned.

First, please take out a pen and paper (or your phone or computer) and list five things you’ve done in the last thirty days to promote/support your own writing.

Now list five challenges or obstacles that you believe are standing in the way of accomplishing your writing goals.

Next, list five writing wishes or desires you want to come true.

Following the Writer Wellness plan will help you to always have five things on those lists.  It will also allow you to maintain a level of health and creativity that some writers are missing.

Are you happy with your writing in general?

Are you happy with your health?

Do you ever notice a direct relationship between the quality of your writing and the quality of your life?

A physically, mentally, and emotionally healthy individual is by far a more productive, creative, and pleasant person.  This is evidenced by the fact that many corporations have implemented programs to keep employees happy and healthy.  Programs range from daycare centers in the workplace to personal trainers for every ten employees.  A healthy, happy employee is more productive and misses less work, which is good for the bottom line.

As a writer, you are the employer and the employee.  Happiness, productivity, and health have a definite impact on the caliber of writing you produce.  It is in your best interest to do everything you can to stay healthy to support being the best writer you can be.

The premise of Writer Wellness is that creativity and productivity are crucially dependent upon an overall quality of life.  This includes physical, mental, emotional, communal, and spiritual aspects.

The five key concepts of Writer Wellness are:


How did I decide these aspects were important? As I noted earlier, I took the time to observe my habits and journal about them. I discovered that I did almost all five things daily.

Where did they come from? I was raised in my mother’s dancing school.  Before she retired after 52 years, she created all the choreography, kept the books, wrote the grants, typed the publicity announcements, directed rehearsals, and taught five ballet classes a week. Thanks to her example, the principles of physical fitness and eating right were pounded into me from an early age.

When I was fourteen, I began the Writer Wellness lifestyle, even though I hadn’t labeled it that yet. I got a “job” at the local newspaper writing a weekly column about my junior high school.  I saw my name in print.  I was hooked. From then on, I was a dancer and a writer.

I discovered yoga, meditation, and modern dance in college, and everything fell into place for me.  Thirty years later, I journal almost daily (unless I’m working intensely on a writing project,) exercise five to six times a week, follow an eating plan and take supplements, meditate, and engage in creative noodling with art journaling, crafting, gardening, and scrapbooking. Now I teach other writers the five key concepts and encourage them to tweak the ideas until they find what works for them.

Review the lists of five things you made at the beginning of this article.  If you had trouble coming up with five items, step back for a moment and assess why that may be. If you haven’t taken five actions to support your writing, is writing really that important to you? If you journal some, exercise regularly, relax or meditate a few minutes daily, eat right, and have some fun occasionally, the five key concepts of Writer Wellness easily represent five things to support your writing. The concepts work together to support your desires and keep you healthy enough to overcome the obstacles when they pop up. Five writing wishes are more easily achieved when you practice writer wellness because your perspective improves, and you gain a broader view of life.

The five things I’ve done for my writing in the last 30 days:

  1. Journaled almost every day
  2. Wrote a guest blog for another author
  3. Attended a webinar on copyright law
  4. Posted several new blogs on my website
  5. Wrote and sent a newsletter to my subscribers

Five challenges to my writing are:

  1. COVID-19 has negatively impacted my ability to do book signings
  2. There haven’t been many writing conferences to attend in-person
  3. Money isn’t coming in for workshops or editing like it used to
  4. Publishers are having supply chain problems (paper, binding, shipping)
  5. Agents are more difficult to acquire

My five writing wishes right now are:

  1. Sell the current manuscript circulating in the query pool
  2. Finish the research for the book I’m writing now
  3. For COVID-19 to be less of a deterrent to going out in public
  4. Get a few more clients for editing and book coaching
  5. Take a marketing course designed for authors

What’s on your lists?

Be well, write well.

All good things,


Buy at Amazon

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

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

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.


Something In Yoga For Everybody

joy held yoga book photo's 016

There is Something In Yoga For Everybody

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

The physical component of yoga is called “hatha yoga.” The word “hatha” is Sanskrit for physical. There are essentially 24 basic poses in hatha yoga and many, many variations on them thus creating hundreds of poses altogether. There are also ways to modify the basic poses so anyone can participate in some level of hatha yoga. This is where yoga therapy comes into play.

All yoga is therapeutic in a sense because of the breathing, stretching and mental practices, but the physical acts of the poses also called asanas, can be changed up slightly to make them accessible to almost everyone.

Disclaimer alert: this article is not meant to replace the guidance of your healthcare practitioner. Always consult such persons before engaging in activity to be sure your condition warrants participation in an organized exercise regime of any kind.

That said, besides talking with your doctor first, here are three books to give you an idea of what might be available to you.

Recovery Yoga, A Practical Guide for Chronically Ill, Injured, and Post-Operative People, Sam Dworkis, Three Rivers Press, New York, 1997. This book covers breathing and movements in a variety of positions. Once you have understood any limitations your doctor recommends, you can choose exercises done sitting, standing, lying down, and on the floor. Dworkis is an Iyengar trained yoga teacher and the B.K.S. Iyengar tradition of hatha yoga originated the practice of modifying yoga poses through the use of props such as chairs and bolsters. His program is called Extension Yoga.


Yoga As Medicine, The Yogic Prescription For Health and Healing, Timothy McCall, M.D., Bantam, New York, 2007. McCall is a doctor and a yoga practitioner and the medical consultant for Yoga Journal Magazine. It includes practice routines and advice on using yoga to help with several conditions such as back pain, cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, fibromyalgia, and multiple sclerosis.


Yoga for Movement Disorders, Rebuilding Strength, Balance and Flexibility for Parkinson’s Disease and Dystonia, Renee Le Verrier, BS, RYT, Merit Publishing International, Florida, 2009. The author of this book suffers from Parkinson’s Disease and practices what she preaches. Every pose is prop assisted and the system is explained very clearly. The photos are very clear and the poses are adaptable to more than Parkinson’s. Highly recommended.


My book Writer Wellness, A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity includes chapters on yoga for writers. Basic poses like Triangle are shown modified in Writer Wellness for use by almost everyone.

Best wishes to you for continued health through movement.

Have you found an interesting way to keep physically active?

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

Copyright 2018, Joy E. Held

Avoid These Seven Workout Mistakes!


Avoid These Seven Workout Mistakes!

1.No pain, no gain- Listen to your body. Know when it’s had enough. This takes a great deal of practice, however, to know the difference between whining and warning. Better to pull back before something gets hurt.

2.Timing-an erratic workout schedule confuses your body and your brain. Try to exercise close to the same time each day.

3.Not enough exercise-it takes the body and brain up to twenty minutes just to warm-up and be ready to exercise. Devote enough time to your workouts to make them productive.

4.Talking too much- Focus on the workout for the body and don’t complicate things with comments or running conversations. Do focus on breathing.

5.Too much water-Drinking fluids during a workout can cause stomach cramps because when the liquid hits the stomach blood rushes to digest it. This drains valuable oxygen from the muscles which need it for energy. Drink before and after a workout but try to avoid drinking during the session.

6.Not enough recovery time-Plan exercise routines of varying intensities and space them out over several days.

7.The wrong clothing-Wearing improper clothing will interfere with the body’s ability to move safely. No jeans or big floppy shirts that cover your face when upside down in Downward Facing Dog pose. You need to breathe!

Do you have any workout experiences to share?

Be well, write well.




Housework Is Not Exercise

Cleaning set photo

“I’m going to clean this dump—just as soon as the kids are grown.”

                ~Erma Bombeck

Erma Bombeck is probably the reason I love being a Mom but hate cleaning. She always wrote about hating housework. I read her in the local paper when I was young and to this day think of her column about changing the toilet paper roll every time I do it. She’s the one who asked many years ago why she was the one person solely responsible for refilling the toilet paper when the house was full of other capable people who could accomplish the chore just fine. But any time she sat down, well, being the only one “in charge” of the changing, sometimes she was caught without. Why didn’t the person who used the last sheet recognize the condition and refill the roll instead of leaving it to her? Bombeck never discovered the answer to my knowledge and neither have I, but I keep extra rolls really close by because it happens all the time. Why me?

Cooking and baking are very spiritual, satisfying activities for me, but I really would rather not have to clean house. I love a clean house, and I’m good at cleaning, but it drains me to the point I have nothing left with which to exercise. And I love exercise. However, I’ve never quite bought into the concept of housework as exercise. The idea is flawed in many ways.

1.Exercise is enjoyable. Cleaning house is not. Who wants to clean hair off the floor behind the toilet for heaven’s sake? The bending required isn’t healthy and neither are the fumes. No physical benefit and no improvement in breathing technique. But I know the gunk is there and eventually I have to swab it out at the expense of my exercise for the day. Ugh.

2.Exercise has recognizable rewards like tone muscles and improved attitude. House cleaning has little if any rewards. I no sooner am dumping the mop water down the drain as a person or a dog is coming in the room with dirty feet or paws. “I just mopped!” is greeted with, “Looks nice, dear.” Grrrrr.

3.Exercise has many success stories. There is no one to my knowledge (if they existed there would be a reality TV show about them) who has lost weight, toned up, and kept off the pounds from cleaning house.

“I hate housework! You make the beds, you do the dishes—and six months later you have to start all over again.”

                ~Joan Rivers

 Household chores must be accomplished, however, and many writers have designed a routine to think about writing projects while folding laundry and mentally working out plot problems while running the vacuum cleaner. But these jobs don’t count as exercise, so it’s off to the gym! Have you achieved fitness by cleaning the house? Prove it!

“Women with clean houses do not have finished books.”

                ~Joy Held


“Be well, write well.”


Wednesday Workout: Walking Meditation to Achieve Balance

It’s National Meditation Month and it’s Wednesday Workout day here at Writer Wellness, and I’ve been able to combine the two ideas. Have you ever tried walking meditation? It can be simple and effective and a real test for the type A personality. That’s a good thing. The hyper person needs to work on achieving a balanced state of being by slowing down more often in a conscientious way. The laid back type B individual could do with a bit more pep in their step on a regular basis to work towards the same goal: balance. Both bodies can learn a new value from the practice of walking meditation.

Walking meditation is pretty agreeable to just about any way you want to go about it. Just walk and be aware of your surroundings and your breath. Go outside for the fifteen minute excursion where you notice everything in small detail and intentionally appreciate it in your mind and even in your journal pages later. For me, I have an issue with graffiti. Defacement of other people’s property doesn’t sit right with me. Since I live in the city, graffiti is everywhere. On walking meditation trips I take in the painted scrawl and intentionally identify it as art and writing with a spray can of paint. It truly is a bold statement of territorialism and sends a multi-faceted message. I think to myself, “A writer wrote that.” At least I’m trying.

Walking meditation can also be a slow, patient, meticulous walk around the room gingerly placing one foot in front of the other. Make an intentional effort to match your breath to each step. It’s amazing how intense walking meditation can become and how internal this practice can turn out to be just by focusing your attention on every step and the sensation of the soles of your feet gradually connecting to the floor in a slow, patterned manner. It provides a wake-up call for comprehending time because it’s amazing how little space you can cover in ten minutes of slow, detailed walking. And it’s a good exercise break although admittedly you’ll need to schedule the cardio session another time. Not much sweat builds up during walking meditation if done properly.

And then there is appreciation. Regardless of personality type, taking a few moments to intentionally appreciate what your mind and body have helped you achieved to date takes the edge off of what you still need to get done in life…one slow, meticulous, detailed step at a time.

Have you ever tried walking meditation? What did you notice?

Meanwhile, remember to look for a digital or print copy of Writer Wellness, A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity at Cool Gus Publishing.

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.

Joy E. Held






Wednesday Workout: Bodybuilding Between the Books?

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

National Library Week 2012

I don’t see many exercise classes taught at libraries, do you? If you know of a library that sponsors a regular exercise class, send us the link. The lack of workouts at the library doesn’t surprise me because most facilities don’t have the space or equipment. Some do not want to run anything longterm because it keeps other patrons from accessing the space. This all makes sense, but so does offering courses on hatha yoga, meditation, and walking at your local library.

Here’s an example of a hatha yoga class in a library http://www.myacpl.org/events/yoga-people-50-and-2012-04-11. The course is ongoing and has been a success for several years. However, like most library settings, the space is limited. Namaste to instructor Linda Cochran for continuing this great program in the Athens Public Library, Athens, Ohio.

Here’s a very good article about the rationale for libraries extending their services to include fitness courses http://www.governing.com/topics/health-human-services/Libraries-Now-Offering-Books-and-Workouts.html

Put this way, it makes a great deal of sense in spite of the limitations and hesitations to blend your books with your bodybuilding by getting it all at the local library. In his fab book SPARK, Dr. John J. Ratey with Eric Hagerman, (a book I require in my college courses,) explains the benefits of exercise to brain health and overall wellbeing when he recommends exercise first then hitting the books. Exercise improves brain elasticity and grows new brain cells capable of absorbing new information.

So the next time you’re at the library, look around for a fitness offering and let me know what you find.

“Be well, write well.”

Joy E. Held

Wednesday Workout: You Are Your Body’s Mechanic

“Start a physical activity program, and keep exercising consistently.” ~Practical Stress Management, John A. Romas and Manoj Sharma

 The Oxford dictionary defines machine as “…an apparatus using or applying mechanical power and having several parts, each with a definite function and together performing a particular task.”

The Oxford dictionary defines mechanical as “…relating to physical forces or motion, physical.” If something is mechanical, it is physical.

I propose to you that your body is a machine. You only have to know the basics about machinery to understand that if the machine and its parts are not cared for and maintained, the machine breaks down, is unable to perform its duties and functions. The machine stops working satisfactorily unless it is kept in working order. It has to be taken care of. That is the job of the mechanic.

Your body is your machine and you are its primary mechanic. One of the actions you need to apply to your body machine is that of physical exercise because as the definition of mechanical states, “…relating to physical forces or motion, physical,” the mechanics of your body uses movement to function and requires movement to stay in working order. Regular physical exercise is one way to maintain your body’s overall health.

Think for a minute about eating. The digestion process involves chewing, swallowing, breaking down, distributing, and discarding the resultant waste products. Those are all verbs and verbs are action words. Every system in your body is about movement. It makes sense that movement is the body’s best ally when it comes to achieving optimum health and thereby dealing successfully with stress. Exercise is an amazing tool to deal with stress. Why?

Review points in the U.S. Surgeon General’s Report on physical activity (2004).

“The chief benefits of regular physical activity include:

+Prevention and control of coronary heart disease, stroke, non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, hypertension, osteoporosis, colon cancer, depression, anxiety, and obesity

+Improved heart, lung, and circulatory system function

+Better balance of blood lipids as a result of increasing “good cholesterol,” and lowering “bad cholesterol”

+Improved quality of life

+Enhanced functional independence

+Mental well-being

+Counterbalancing of adverse effects due to stress

+Improved self-esteem

+Maintenance of appropriate body weight

+Slowing down of adverse effects of aging such as memory loss

+Overall improved life expectancy.”

There are eleven positive benefits of regular physical activity listed. Eight of those eleven are related to emotional standards of health. If your emotions are in good health, so is your body. While physical exercise contributes immensely to the overall well being of a person in the mechanical sense, it contributes immensely to how we feel about ourselves and how much control we have over our lives. When we are in control of our lives through the use of healthy options such as exercise, eating right, and accomplishing goals, we are less stressed. Physical exercise gives us a sense of control over ourselves, our situations, and our choices.

What’s most important to remember about how exercise helps us deal with stress besides endorphins, neurogenesis, avoiding disease, and weight management is that regular physical exercise enhances our underlying self-respect. That intangible area of how we feel about ourselves is inexplicably linked to whether we exercise or not. Plain and simple.

Nineteenth century German philosopher Rudolf Steiner is believed to have said, “The first sign of life in a human is movement. The first sign of death in a human is lack of movement.” Our very survival is all about movement. It only makes sense that exercise be an important component of that survival.

What is your plan for exercise today?

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

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.