Featured Writer on Wellness: Mindy Halleck

Filed in Writers on Wellness by on January 13, 2016 • views: 1876

maui headshotBiggest physical challenge of being a writer? Sitting for long periods of time.

If I sit for too long my lower back hurts, then my legs and so on.

It’s so unhealthy.

I now have a stand-up desk where I spend my afternoons instead of seated all day.

Afternoon walks and stretching reduce the potential damage done by the long hours spent writing.

Nature Reconnects Me to My Purpose

I suppose for me the amount of work that goes into promoting my current novel while trying to write the next one is presently my biggest [emotional] challenge. It’s exhausting and can leave me wondering what I’m doing and why I’m doing it.

To reconnect with why I write, I take long walks on the beach by my house. Seated on my favorite beached log, facing the water, I meditate, listen to the water lap against the shore, and watch the two eagles who dominate that stretch of the Puget Sound soar and squawk as they clear the other birds away from their hunting ground.

Nature reconnects me to my purpose.

TravelThen once a week escape my brain’s obsession with the written word, I go to paint at a local artist gallery where they teach art lessons. Creating with a visual medium relaxes the part of my brain that has been focused on words and in a way it’s like mental play that restores me and makes me a better writer when I return to my desk.

When a Writing Instructor Tells You to Keep Your Day Job

Many years ago when I first started to write fiction (I’d written non-fiction and been published), a popular writing instructor who reviewed a story of mine said to me, “Keep your day job. Some people aren’t meant to write fiction. Real storytellers are born. You can’t fake it.”

Well, those words, now burned into my psyche, punched me in the gut.

florence 2I didn’t write a word for over year after that. I was crushed.

Then one day I decided I missed writing and that even if what I wrote sucked, I needed to write.

Then another instructor told me I had some talent. That tiny flicker of encouragement was all I needed to continue.

I have since learned to NOT give my power away the way I did to that bitter woman who I once allowed to crush me. I have since learned she has a terrible reputation for doing that to writers.

DO NOT EVER LET ANYONE STEAL YOUR DREAMS.

The One Thing That Has Kept You On Your Path

Knowing that I have a path is a great thing.

Many people go through life not knowing why they are here. I know exactly why I’m here, and the “knowing” keeps me tethered to my goals.

Advice for a Young Writer: Never Let Self-Doubt Drive Your Car

I would tell them that self-doubt may be their biggest hurdle, worst enemy and yet, best motivator as long as they keep it in check.

My grandma used to say, “Never let self-doubt drive your car. It rides in the back seat.”

Meaning, you’ll always have doubts. Just don’t let them rule the day. Put them in the back of your mind, not the forefront.

* * *

Mindy Halleck is an award-winning fiction writer, novelist, and social media and writing instructor. In 2015 her debut novel, Return To Sender, a literary thriller set on the Oregon Coast in the 1950’s, received a “Reader’s Favorite” award. Her short stories have won the Writer’s Digest and the EPIC Arts Association fiction contests. Halleck also blogs at Literary Liaisons and is an active member of the Pacific Northwest writing community. In addition to being a writer, Halleck is a happily married, globe-trotting beachcomber and three-time cancer survivor.

For more information on Mindy and her work, please see her website or Amazon author page, or connect with her on Twitter.


RTS cover 4 interviewReturn to Sender: 1955 ~ Father Theo Riley never wanted to be a priest, nor a killer. The former boxing champion and Korean War veteran gave up more than a career when he went into the Army. He lost the only thing he ever wanted: his love, Andréa Bouvre.

Friends thought Theo entered the priesthood to mend his broken heart or atone for the massacred orphans he couldn’t save in Korea. However, the truth is much darker and more damning, tied to a blood debt and family secret that has haunted Theo since he was a boy. He drinks to forget he ever had a life of his own—waits for death, prays for mercy, and hopes for a miracle. He gets all three when a child goes missing, another shows up on his doorstep, and the love of his life drives back into his world; the seaside hamlet of Manzanita Oregon.

Theo’s dream reunion with Andréa becomes a nightmare when a serial killer who considers himself a holy man targets the town and everyone Theo loves. Drinking days decidedly behind him, Theo and some old warriors set out to send evil back to hell and a few good souls to heaven. Available at Amazon,

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Comments (3)

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  1. Pam says:

    In the good and fair land, all teachers are taught, before setting foot in a classroom: words may cause harm. It’s a huge responsibility. I’m glad you escaped the evil enchantment to write happily ever after. My high school English teacher told me I was a born writer on my first story for her. For the rest of high school, with her, I felt like a failure. I never matched that first story and felt as if I disappointed her with every assignment. Dropped the whole writing thing for a few decades… (not that I was pining for it, but I’m writing happily ever after now too.) Excellent piece, Mindy.

  2. Chere Hagopian says:

    I’m so sorry that mean woman discouraged you like that! She must have been jealous. But it’s a great encouragement to everyone else who’s had a similar experience to not let that kind of person stop you.

    • mindy says:

      Thank you, Chere, and I did later learn she had a problem with women in general…long story. Thank you for reading. Have a fabulous weekend. Cheers, Mindy