When I am sitting at my desk for hours, especially if I get into a creative zone, I have to literally stop and remind myself to get up and stretch, let alone get a proper workout.
For me, creative writing is such a laid back profession that I have to be vigilant when it comes to exercise.
Creative People Need a Variety of Exercise Options
Variety is the key to continued engagement.
There are months when I can run outside several days a week, then I get tired of running outside and I may go and sign up for the gym. After working out at the gym for about a year, I can no longer stand the sight of it and then I cancel my membership and buy the latest workout DVD’s.
When I have outgrown the DVD’s I go Groupon hopping and check out whatever organizations are offering good deals. I have done outdoor boot camps, Crossfit, boxing gyms, etc.
Trying different types of workouts keeps me connected to my physical fitness goals.
Finding the Motivation to Start Writing and the Discipline to Finish
It is difficult to pinpoint the biggest emotional challenge, but motivation and discipline are right up at the top of the list.
Almost everyone you meet has a book in them. They have all of the ideas and they know just what they want to write and when you ask why they haven’t yet, you get a barrage of excuses.
The true reason is that it’s just plain hard to gather not only the motivation to start, but the discipline to finish.
It took me years to finally decide that I was ready to start my first novel and even today I must work to maintain the discipline to continue writing everyday as I start my third novel.
Whenever I find that I am losing my discipline, I think back to why I started in the first place, I refocus my energy on my fundamental purpose and I begin to type.
Don’t Be Afraid to Take a Break
The best way, I find, to cope with the emotional challenges of writing is simple, take a break.
Don’t be afraid to take time. Many people will force themselves to sit at the computer and beat themselves up for not being brilliant at the moment they want to write, but that’s not my process.
While it’s necessary to have the discipline to make writing goals and reach them, sometimes you just need to vegetate. I just have to make sure that I have time limits on my vegetation. I enjoy it, but promise myself that I will get back to work once it’s done and I do.
When it’s time to get back to it, you just put one foot in front of the other (one word after the other).
Creatives Deal with Rejection Constantly
While it’s hard for me to say that I have suffered any GREAT discouragements, when you are a creative you deal with rejection constantly whether it is an official rejection of your work by a publisher or something as simple as a bad review.
You have to have a thick skin and realize that it is just part of the package.
Stay focused on what the work means to you and know your value.
Writing is My Path and I Cannot Change It
What has kept me true to my path is the fact that it IS indeed my path and I cannot change it, even if I wanted to change it.
I love to write and read and I can’t imagine myself doing anything else for the rest of my life.
Advice for a Young Writer: Writers Write
The best advice that I ever received was, “Writers write.”
Actually sitting down and churning out words every day, even on days when you’re tired or uninspired, is the most difficult part of the process.
Once you master that, you’re almost home.
Featured image above—from the shoot that we did for the book trailer for my new book: Thomasina Jacinth (Actress), Aleya Votaw (little girl, actress), Jean Nicole Rivers (Myself) and Davis McDermand (Director of Photography).
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She’s been writing poetry and short stories since she was a child, but has always aspired to master the art of storytelling through novels. The Unwanted is the second story in her series of Black Water Tales, following The Secret Keepers.
Jean Nicole was awarded 3rd place in the National Black Book Festival’s 2013 Best New Author competition and she enjoys the honor of having written featured articles for popular reader websites and blogs, such as Digital Book Today and The Masquerade Crew.
Jean Nicole Rivers graduated from Florida International University with a bachelor of arts in philosophy, and she lives in Houston, Texas.
Black Water Tales: The Unwanted (Black Water Tales Book 2)—In the remote, eastern European town of Borslav there is St. Sebastian orphanage, a place where people discard their unwanted children. For the American, Blaire Baker, it’s the perfect place to volunteer her services. Paired with a cheerful volunteer nurse, Blaire is enthusiastic about the possibilities, but is quickly discouraged when she encounters the nefarious nature of the staff and the deplorable conditions of the facility and the children.
Upon arrival, one of the children informs Blaire, “There’s something in the basement.” It isn’t long before strange things begin happening, including Blaire’s flashbacks of the accident that killed her parents. The children soon suffer injuries that Blaire, first, fears may be the deeds of the callous workers but she soon thinks the abuse may originate from a source that is less than human, something unwanted.
The unwanted is coming but in order for Blaire to fight it, she must dig into St. Sebastian and herself in search of truth. Blaire wants nothing more than to help the children, but when she discovers the tragedy that happened in the basement and learns that the same evil forces are still at work, it will be Blaire who needs help…There’s something in the basement.
Available at Amazon.
Black Water Tales: The Secret Keepers—It’s midnight when Regina Dean she receives a harrowing phone call. On the other end of the line a scratchy voice whispers, “They found her, Regina…they found her.”
Over the phone Regina learns that the corpse of her best friend, Lola Rusher, has been found and she must return to her, Godforsaken, hometown of Black Water for the funeral of the beloved girl who disappeared when they were both only sixteen years old.
Regina returns to Black Water and is reunited with a cast of old friends. Soon Regina realizes that the details revealed with the discovery of Lola’s corpse do not make sense, especially the fact that Lola’s body was dug up on the land of their childhood piano teacher.
Determined to lay Lola to rest, Regina launches her own investigation, but someone in Black Water warns Regina to STOP DIGGING. She is thrown into a race to solve the mystery before she loses her mind or meets Lola’s fate. Though Regina’s hometown is a fun house of disturbing characters and distorted images, the truth about what happened to Lola Rusher will be revealed along with a most unexpected and perverse secret that threatens to expose everyone in Black Water. Everyone knows something, but no one knows everything…
Available at Amazon.