Archive for the 'Health' Category

To the Disconsolate Writer Who Hates Her Pace

From an anonymous email: Dear Jan: I’ve seen you describe yourself as a slow writer. I am one also, and it makes me discouraged to the point I’ve considered quitting. Do you have any advice? Ah, yes. Speed-of-sloth is the precise phrase I use, and while at one point it was a way of laughing […]

4 Science-Based Resources to Build a Drama-Free Writing Routine

Few things in life give me more pleasure than a gorgeously written blog post validating my choice to write, particularly if I’m fresh from a difficult critique or my characters have gone silent. That’s when I scan my environment, looking for people brimming with positivity. If you’re one of them, I glom onto you. I […]

Three Yoga Poses That Could Save Your Novel (Or Your Life)

Today’s guest is Samantha Wilde. Samantha is the author of I’ll Take What She Has and This Little Mommy Stayed Home (both from Bantam Books). She is an ordained minister and a yoga teacher, a graduate of Smith College, Yale Divinity School, The New Seminary and the Kripalu School of Yoga. Before she became a […]

Boundaries and Burnout

I have been noticing lately that the word, “work ethic” has been coming up a lot among writers, all of whom seem to be pursuing the vast pots of wealth seemingly just on the other side of a completed manuscript. No longer do you even need a contract to hit the big time—just look! Every […]

4 Horseman of the Relationship Apocalypse—Want Them for Members of Your Writing Community?

Of the long-term, previously stable writing communities in which I’m involved, guess how many have suffered through some sort of meltdown in the past few months. (By “meltdown” I mean disagreements which became personal, broadly eroded trust and collegiality, and judging by early signs, from which some communities might not fully recover.) If you went […]

Flying Fingers or Tapping Toes: Art is Art is Art

First there were difficulties securing a vehicle, then foot tendinitis, then unprotected chest met deck edge, leading to multiple rib fractures. (At which time my mantra became Go pain killers! Yay for modern pharmacology!) Between one thing and another, it seemed like life was conspiring to keep me from fitness-dancing. When I restarted this January, […]

You Can Get (Almost) Anything on EBay

As I write this post, EBay has sixty active listings for “full suit of armor.” Some are shiny silver, others are bronze. Some have gaudy feathers on the helmet, others offer chain mail accents. A few promise a complimentary battle axe. The prices range from $10-$9,650, and twenty listings offer free shipping. But as long […]

This Product Prevents Literary Wedgies. Good for Multiple Uses.

You’ve been around a block or twenty in the writing world. You’ve read enough blog posts or inspirational books or how-to-put-butt-in-chair treatises to wallpaper the Guggenheim, and for the most part your strategies are working. Muse and Self-Doubt Monster might exist in uneasy alliance, but you’re getting work done. Then something fractures detente. Maybe Muse […]

Diagnosis: Storyteller

Had my life been a movie a few months ago, this might have been the logline: When a teenager has a life-threatening bicycle accident, his parents–a retired family physician and an inhumanly patient engineer–must persuade an overburdened health-care system to act before it’s too late. Note to any Hollywood agents drooling over this premise: Clive […]

Characters Welcome

Today’s guest is bestselling Kindle author Kathleen Shoop. Her second historical fiction novel, After the Fog, is set in 1948 Donora, Pennsylvania. The mill town’s “killing smog” was one of the worst environmental disasters in U.S. history, triggering clean air advocacy and eventually, the Clean Air Act. Kathleen’s debut novel, The Last Letter, sold more than 50,000 copies and garnered multiple awards in 2011, […]

An Open Letter to the Overwhelmed Writer Who Just Learned of a Parent’s Illness

Dear Fellow Sandwich Generationer: When you found out you’d become an official caregiver for two generations of people (one older, one younger), and hence a member of the “sandwich” generation, did the news come via a phone call? Mine did, as I sat writing in the deceptively soft, grey light of a winter morning. It […]

Ergonomics for Writerly Folk

Truth: Writers sit. A lot. We sit and type. We sit and edit. We sit and read. We sit and dream. We sit while sifting through Twitter and Facebook posts, and while digesting blogs. And then we sit and type some more. It probably goes without saying that it’s important to have a decent setup […]