Featured Writer on Wellness: C. L. Hoang

Filed in Writers on Wellness by on July 23, 2015 • views: 918

The long hours sitting at the computer desk and staring at the terminal (both during research and writing) can take their toll on my lower back, my neck and shoulders, and my eyes.

The problem is once I sit down at the desk, it’s very easy for me to lose track of time and thus remain glued to my seat for long stretches at a time.

I have to constantly remind myself to take breaks and to get up to move around and stretch every so often. It helps to try and establish a daily routine that includes walks and/or gym workouts, but weather and unsuspected inspiration (which strikes at the oddest moments) sometimes conspire to interfere with that planned routine.

What Have I Gotten Myself Into?

I don’t mind working alone, but writer’s block (or in my case, false starts that in turn necessitate major rewrites) can bring on plenty of frustration and anxiety—the desperate feeling of spinning one’s wheels and wasting so much precious time.

And then once the hard work of writing is done and the book gets published (a huge accomplishment in itself), begins the high-stress, full-time job of book promotion, which requires the author to be so much more than just a writer: namely, a public communicator, a sales/marketing person, or at least someone willing to share of him/herself with a live audience.

Most writer friends that I know (and myself as well) were initially reluctant and mostly untrained to take on those new, demanding tasks.

It is not that unusual to hear people question out loud what they’ve gotten themselves into!

I try to remind myself what drove me to write in the first place, and what a privilege it is to have the opportunity to pursue that dream, that passion. I also derive inspiration from tales of personal triumph by other aspiring writers, from whose experiences I try to learn.

Besides, I keep telling myself that practice makes perfect, so that the more I apply myself to writing and to developing my communication skills, the easier and better it will all become eventually. Or so I hope.

Restoring Perspective with a Little R&R

I didn’t really have any single darkest moment that stood out, just the usual setbacks and momentary discouragements often encountered in the course of any long-term projects.

It sometimes helped to take a break and get away from it all. A little R&R goes a long way in restoring the proper perspective for things.

The One Thing That Has Kept You On Your Path

For me, it is the singular desire to share a story that, I felt, absolutely needed to be told. It was one I had been wanting to write for most of my adult life.

Advice for a Young Writer

I would say the hardest part is to realize that nowadays it is virtually impossible to make a living as a writer/artist alone.

If you really want to pursue your passion in this field, you would need to find a way to support it with a practical job, and even then it will still extract lots of sacrifices and dedication.

In return, the reward is immeasurable, if not financially, then at least in terms of personal fulfillment.

* * *

C. L. Hoang was born and raised in Vietnam and came to the United States in the 1970s. He graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, and earns his living as an electronic engineer, with eleven patents to his name to date. Books, history, and travel are his hobbies, and Once upon a Mulberry Field (Willow Stream Publishing 2014), a love story set at the height of the Vietnam War, is his first novel, a project from the heart that took six years to complete.

For more information on Mr. Hoang and his writing, please see his website, or Amazon book page, or connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and GooglePlus.


Mulberry FieldOnce Upon a Mulberry Field: From the jungles of Vietnam through the minefields of the heart, Once upon a Mulberry Field follows one man’s journey to self-discovery, fraught with disillusionment and despair but ultimately redeemed by the power of love.

The book has won numerous awards and has received 5-star reviews from readers and from Amazon Hall-of-Fame top reviewers.

Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iTunes.

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Comments (6)

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  1. Beautiful cover! Best of luck, and thanks for reminding me that moving around is important, too.

    • C. L. Hoang says:

      Thank you, Beth. I’m so glad you like the cover. It took some doing, but was well worth it. Yes, it’s so easy to lose track of time once we sit down at the desk, isn’t it? Time just flies!

  2. “For me, it is the singular desire to share a story that, I felt, absolutely needed to be told. ” That’s the sentence that resonates with me, because it’s precisely what keeps me going when times get tough! Thanks for posting this interesting piece.

    • C. L. Hoang says:

      Motivation is the driving force. Without it, I couldn’t have spent 6 years laboring on the book. It was truly a “labor” of love. Best wishes with your writing, Ann Marie!

  3. Chere Hagopian says:

    Thanks, C.L.! You’re so right, inspiration doesn’t schedule itself around our routines. Sometimes we have to forget the schedule, seize the moment and write when inspiration shows its face!

    • C. L. Hoang says:

      And that’s exactly why it can be so physically challenging at times, Chere. So easy to lose track of time — and everything else! Best wishes.