Featured Writer on Wellness: Jennifer Hotes

Filed in Writers on Wellness by on February 26, 2015 • views: 956

Jennifer BFor me it was weight gain.

With deadlines looming, I gave up my morning runs to fit in more work. This took a toll on my health and well being.

It took me until recently to reclaim my physical health. I always, ALWAYS fit in a run or walk before I write.

Yes, there are days when I’m chomping at the bit to get to work, but I use my exercise minutes to brainstorm the next piece of the story or to untangle a plot knot.

Changing the Inner Dialogue

My biggest emotional challenge has been learning to change my inner dialogue to be positive. As a perfectionist, I tend to not want to do something unless I know it will result in something perfect.

"Joy:" A quick sketch of my youngest daughter Bryn. She is pure joy every day to all those around her.

“Joy:” A quick sketch of my youngest daughter Bryn. She is pure joy every day to all those around her.

Writing isn’t perfect, well, unless you happen to be a technical writer. But fiction writing is about putting your characters from your head onto paper, bringing them to life, and journaling their adventures. It requires constant work and care to sharpen the story.

So, I’ve let go of the idea of perfect and embraced criticism and editing as part of the process to grow from draft to final product.

Banishing the Inner Governor

We all have inner-governors; those voices inside our heads that tell us we can’t, shouldn’t, or won’t do something. I’m no different. There are parts of my thoughts that say all the things I’m afraid the world will say to me: “Don’t write this. What garbage! You aren’t a writer.”

There’s no way to work toward a substantial goal like finishing a novel thinking this way. So, I have become hyper-aware of the conversation I have with myself. If my thoughts turn negative, I change the words in my head to something positive. I repeat it with the (yes, slightly awkward) positive phrase until it feels natural.

One thought at a time, I’m retraining my mind to be positive and supportive.

Sunflowers 2A floral arrangement I received the day after the pediatric hospice fundraiser I ran. It doesn’t really have a name, but if I had to name it I’d call it, “Gratitude,” because of how passionate I feel about each and every one of the people that donated money to support sick/grieving/bereaved children.

The Darkest Moment: That First Critical Review

You hear it from other authors, but it still hurts when you get that first critical review. Yes, I know not every reader will love every book, but it still hurts when you hear from someone who didn’t like something (or everything) you wrote. I don’t want to care, but I do.

The setback for me was a long delay between the publication of book one and the writing of book two. I had to toughen up, stay away from reviews, and get right with myself again before I could write book two. The break from writing was worth it though because I wrote the second book in less than three months.

The One Thing That Has Kept You On Your Path

That would be my teen daughter. She reminds me that I am the only one that can write this story, she tells me to put my writing first, and she prods me to keep moving forward instead of wasting time looking back. She’s amazing and I am so blessed to have her in my life.

Advice for a Young Writer: A Writing Career is Built One Reader at a Time

Today, with people becoming Internet sensations overnight, I would warn them that a writing career is built one word at a time and one reader at a time. Success won’t happen in an instant, but if you truly love writing, well then do it.

And even if you need to get a part-time or full-time job to support your writing passion, well, make that sacrifice to keep with it. Who knows? Maybe your next book idea will come from that coffee stand gig!

* * *

Jennifer Hotes has been writing down her thoughts and scribbling pictures since her parents pushed her crib against the wall. Raised across the river from a nuclear reactor, she believed that two-headed animals were the norm until she traveled west for college. After earning double degrees in communication and psychology, Jennifer sought to use both skill sets in the marketing field.

Then a dream inspired Jennifer to change her career to writing and illustrating. Now she illustrates books, develops book covers and writes mysteries. She lives in the Seattle area with her husband, two daughters, two cats and one unruly puppy. On rainy days, you’ll find her in her art loft working on her next novel or sketching something whimsical for children.

For more information on Jennifer, please see her website.


Four RubbingsFour Rubbings: Fourteen-year old Josie, haunted by the death of her mother, leads her best friends to an ancient cemetery to rub graves.

She’s convinced she will come away with proof of her mother’s spirit, but the evening takes an unexpected turn as the teens gravitate four ways into the haunted grounds.

Set against the backdrop of the rainy Pacific Northwest, four graves will be rubbed, touching off a series of events that rattle the teens’ once mundane lives.

Available at Amazon.

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Comments (4)

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  1. Chere Hagopian says:

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Jennifer! I like your idea about changing the inner dialogue. We can be our own worst critics. And there are enough critics outside of us- we don’t need another one!

    • Hi Chere,

      I’m so glad you found my post helpful. I have a friend that said to me once, “The biggest obstacle we have to anything is the thing between our ears.” He’s wise beyond his years, but that simple quote has really made me focus on my thoughts, positive and negative, and choose to rewrite the bad stuff. 🙂

      In kindness,
      Jennifer

  2. Oh, Colleen! Thank you for your blog which supports every one of us striving for health and well-being as we pursue our careers.

    Thanks for letting people peek behind my cheery exterior to the woman that simply tries to do better than yesterday.

    Much kindness,
    Jenn

    • Colleen says:

      Thank you for taking the time to share with us, Jennifer! Love the comments about “banishing the inner governor.” Such a great way to put it!