Featured Writer on Wellness: Amy Saia

Filed in Writers on Wellness by on October 16, 2014 • views: 926

Amy 3First of all, I’d like to say a big thank you for having me on your blog, Colleen.

So far, the biggest physical challenge of being a writer has been accepting the pure sedentary nature of the whole thing.

Listen to Your Body While Writing

I am not one to sit still, but so far it is the only way I can write. I’ve learned to take frequent breaks and stretch every day to keep my body flexible. Long writing stints can cause backache, and it’s usually a sign to take a day or two off.

Another thing I noticed early on is to turn the computer monitor down so I won’t suffer any eye strain.

I’ve also learned not to “sit on” a folded leg, or I’ll have low back pain. It’s been a hard habit to break as I’ve always sat bohemian style.

I think you just have to listen to your body. If you feel like your legs are falling asleep, get up and move around; if your eyes are tired or your wrists are aching, go do something else. Be gentle with yourself.

It’s Hard Not to Take Rejection to Heart

In the beginning, it’s close to impossible not to take rejection to heart. After a while it stings less, but emotionally it is hard to understand how something you worked so diligently on could ever be turned down.

Early on I read a book called “Reject Me, I Love It,” by John Fuhrman, which had the nice effect of preparing me for the road ahead as well as shining a light on the positive side of rejection. If you can understand that it’s all a business and not personal, you’ll do well.

Of course, it doesn’t hurt to keep a journal, or have a best friend to confide in. I’ve never let any problem derail me from writing for more than a week or two. Writing makes me happy, and I know now that I’ll do it regardless of any outside influence, positive or negative.

Music is my first choice to zen out, but recently I’ve used positive affirmation and meditation to help get me through not only writing rejections but life issues as well.

I’m happiest when I write, but that’s not always possible. Going out and doing other things besides writing is really what keeps it all in perspective. Knowing that you aren’t just a writer, but a human as well, is important.

The Darkest Moment: When A Colleague Told Me to Redo the Book

I suppose the worst was the time a colleague told me my first book needed to be redone from start to finish and even that I should delete a main character—a character I loved very much.

I sat back and asked myself how much I was willing to take his advice, or if I loved the book enough as-is to listen to my own heart?

I was grateful for his input, but it taught me to have an opinion about my work and not always be dependent on other people’s thoughts.

The One Thing That Has Kept You On Your Path

It’s cliché, but I love to write and I love my characters.

When I write I really do feel that “muse” or otherworldly phenomenon some people speak of. It really happens and it’s a wonderful thing to experience.

Writing is very special to me. I love the act of it, and the result of it.

Advice for a Young Writer: Put In the Effort Before You Dream of Contracts

This summer I taught a young adult writing camp at my local library and received similar questions. The hardest part is the rejection, but also it’s being persistent and doing the work.

You can’t turn in a half-written book or story. Agents and publishers don’t want an idea, they want a real, solid book.

So, take the time and put in the effort before you dream of contracts and such. If you do this, you’ll prove something to yourself that goes way beyond the glittery lure of being published. And remember to be professional.

You’re never too young to write a nice query letter or address people in a dignified manner. And always have fun when you write. Don’t make it a chore. Make it a habit. A really, really fun and exciting habit.

* * *

Amy Saia lives in Kansas as a writer and musician. Her work has appeared in Haunted Waters Press and in 2012 her first novel, The Soul Seekers, was published by WiDo. The sequel, The Time Seekers, will be published in September 2014.

The Soul SeekersThe Soul Seekers: After Emma Shay’s father dies, her mother moves them cross country to live with Gran in Springvale, a small isolated town in southern Indiana.

It is a place of hushed whisperings about long-ago secrets. Emma’s own secret is her attraction to William, the dark handsome visitor at the library where she works. He is beautiful, mysterious, tortured. When Emma meets Jesse from the record shop down the street, Jesse offers excitement, a way out of town, and perhaps even a way to reach William and save him from his suffering.

Emma wants William, Jesse wants Emma, William wants to protect Emma. And the creepy town leaders—The Soul Seekers—want them all. Available at Amazon.

TimeSeekers_CVR_MED-200x300The Time Seekers: Emma and William Bennett are not the newlywed college students they appear to be. Besides both being telepathic, William is a former ghost from the 1950’s.

When the soul-stealing cult they escaped from prior to their marriage threatens their lives, they must return to Springvale, to an earlier time, and stop the leader before his rise to power. But once back in his hometown, William loses his memories.

Now Emma’s formerly traditional husband is young and reckless and ignoring her warnings about the dangerous new group. In fact, William doesn’t remember her at all. Not their marriage, not their courtship, not even that she is carrying his child. Emma, stuck on her own in the 1950’s, decides it’s up to her to save them both, Annie Oakley-style.
Available at Wido Publishing.

Amy’s website and Facebook.

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Comments (2)

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  1. Amy says:

    Thanks so much for having me on your blog today, Colleen. It was a lot of fun!

    • Colleen says:

      Thank YOU, Amy! So glad you enjoyed it—and thanks for your thoughts. So true about facing rejection, practicing craft, and staying professional. Best of luck with the new release!