Featured Writer on Wellness: Jennifer Wilck

Filed in Writers on Wellness by on August 16, 2017 • views: 936

Jennifer WilckI think the biggest physical challenge to being a writer is
it’s basically a stationary profession.

Sounds pretty obvious, but I never really thought about it before.

I write on my laptop, so I can move from my desk to my dining room table to my sofa to my deck when the weather is nice. If you notice, all those things have chairs, where I sit for hours at a time while I write (and try not to goof off on Facebook too much).

I’ve never been big on exercise—I find gyms intimidating and our elliptical machine in the basement is boring. But then I got a FitBit. Actually, I gave my husband a new one—the watch kind—and therefore I decided to try his old one, which I keep in my pocket.

And suddenly I realized why everyone is obsessed with tracking their steps.

Now I Understand Why Everyone is Obsessed with Tracking Their Steps!

Maybe I’m just uncoordinated, but it’s really hard for me to write and walk at the same time. One of my critique partners made a walking desk out of her treadmill, but I’m not talented enough to do that and I’m pretty sure I’d kill myself on it.

My step counts were woefully small. My husband won every challenge he gave me (except the first time, where I cheated, but that’s a different story). And so I realized that I needed to up my game.

Now that the weather is nice, I walk my dog in the mornings. We walk around my neighborhood lake, which is about three and a half miles.

The lake that I walk around in the mornings.

The lake that I walk around in the mornings.

And now, instead of just moving from chair to chair in different rooms, I take the opportunity to walk around a little more, stretch my legs and get the blood flowing. Not only are my steps increasing, which means I’m getting more exercise and being healthier, but I’m finding I’m more inspired as well.

It’s Takes Effort to Climb Out of the Hole Sometimes

From an emotional standpoint, writing is a solitary endeavor. In order to be productive, I need to sit at my computer and write. I can’t do that with people around. So it’s lonely.

There’s no one around to pump me up when I’m dejected from a rejection, encourage me when I’m in a slump, or reassure me when I’m convinced my writing is awful. It takes effort to climb out of the hole sometimes, but I’ve found a few things to be helpful.

One is Facebook. I liken it to the water cooler at the office—do those still exist? While it can definitely be a distraction, it also affords me a chance to pop in, chat with a few friends, laugh at a few memes and return refreshed.

I also have critique partners who are lifesavers. One partner and I meet for coffee regularly. Just having to get showered and dressed early enough to meet her gets me out of my rut. We chat about our lives and families, help each other with plot holes and marketing ideas, and I leave feeling happy and rejuvenated.

It’s Difficult to Listen Openly to Criticism

My other critique partners and I meet monthly and give in-depth critiques of each other’s work. That in itself creates challenges, as it’s difficult to discuss my work with people and to listen openly to criticism, no matter how valuable.

But it’s made my writing stronger and it’s great to sit and talk with people who understand what I’m going through. Walking in the mornings, whether it’s by myself or with friends, also helps clear my head and gets me ready for the day.

These coping mechanisms have been especially important when facing rejections.

The Darkest Moment: When My Agent and I Parted Ways

My darkest moment came about a year ago, when my agent and I mutually decided to part ways. She wasn’t getting anywhere with selling my manuscripts and I was going through a rough time in other areas. I wasn’t able to focus on my writing and I felt as if I’d done nothing useful in a long time.

So I wallowed and sulked for a short time, consumed more chocolate than was good for me and then sat down and made a plan. Because I faced a choice. I could give up my dream—I’d published four books several years ago, which is no small feat—and move onto something else.

Or I could push forward.

There is Nothing Like Successfully Completing a Plan to Make You Feel Good!

Inspiration keeps coming to me. I still hear characters talking to me and urging me to write their stories. And writing makes me happy.

So I pushed forward. I resigned from some volunteer positions that were draining me and took my new-found energy and time and devoted it to writing, editing and querying.

I attended a conference and pitched to editors and agents. I created a list of other publishing houses I wanted to approach, and with which manuscript. I created goals and strategies and plans.

And I’m happy to say that as a result of all of that effort, I have two books being published by The Wild Rose Press, the first of which releases July 21. There is nothing like the successful completion of a plan to make you feel good!

Advice for a Young Writer: Make Sure You Have Something Inside that Urges You to Do It

If you’re thinking of pursuing a career like mine, make sure you have something inside that urges you to do it, that will keep you going when the rest of you wants to give up, and stick to your dream.

Nothing worth doing is easy. No matter how talented or successful you are, there will be setbacks and pitfalls and days where everything is just too hard.

But if you truly want this, keep at it. There is nothing better than knowing you followed your heart and created something.

* * *

Jennifer WJennifer Wilck started telling herself stories as a little girl when she couldn’t fall asleep at night. Her favorite stories to write are those with smart, sassy, independent heroines; handsome, strong and slightly vulnerable heroes; and her stories always end with happily ever after.

In the real world, she’s the mother of two amazing daughters and wife of one of the smartest men she knows. When she’s not writing, she loves to laugh with family and friends, is a pro at finding whatever her kids lost in plain sight, and spends way too much time closing doors that should never have been left open. She believes humor is the only way to get through the day and doesn’t share her chocolate.

She writes contemporary romance, some of which are mainstream and some of which involve Jewish characters. All are available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

For more information on Jennifer and her work, please see her website and blog, or connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

Addicted to LoveAddicted to Love: Dan Rothberg struggled after an accident killed his wife and he nearly lost custody of his daughter. He can no longer allow himself to get attached to anything or anyone. Until he meets Hannah.

Hannah Cohen is a young executive with a meddlesome grandmother and a troubled brother. She’d like nothing better than to find her own Mr. Right, after too many Mr. Wrongs. A sexy older man with a teenage daughter was never in her plans.

As they navigate their relationship through adolescent attitudes and grandmotherly interference, they realize age is just a number and love can be right in front of them. But when the terrible truth of Dan’s former struggles is exposed, Hannah must decide if she can get past his deception and allow love to conquer all.

Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Wild Rose Press.

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Comments (4)

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  1. Hi Jennifer,
    Writing is indeed solitary, but it doesn’t need to be sedentary. I don’t think I have the coordination to write on a treadmill, but I do stand a fair bit while I’m writing. My back gets stiff and sore if I sit too much, so standing, at least sometimes, works for me.

  2. Thanks for the opportunity, Colleen!