Featured Writer on Wellness: Jennifer Ammoscato

Filed in Writers on Wellness by on September 13, 2017 • views: 1216

JenniferMy biggest challenge is lack of time.

I am a writer who doesn’t want to start work on an aspect of a project unless I have a good couple of hours. It takes me time to reacquaint myself with where I was and my mindset.

Sometimes, though, that becomes an excuse to avoid it. Physically, my biggest challenge is back pain.

What Works for Me as a Writer in Terms of Exercise and Diet

I ran for many years until a foot issue sidelined me for the last few. After successful surgery last fall, I waited the six months I was told to and found a new fitness regimen.

I did a lot of research into what might work for me and tried many things before I settled on what I think works for me:

  1. I do a stretching/strengthening routine most days before work called Essentrics. This also helps prevent the horrible back spasms I’ve gotten when working at a desk for long periods of time. It’s very, very important to stretch your muscles. I think it’s the most important thing I do.
  2. I also try to run on our treadmill at least three days a week. I’ve finally become one of those people who listens to music while running and find that truly helps.
  3. Writer Jennifer Ammoscato and the best walking partner in the world, her Welsh Springer Spaniel Remy.

    Writer Jennifer Ammoscato and the best walking partner in the world, her Welsh Springer Spaniel Remy.

    I also walk our Welsh Springer Spaniel about five days a week, sometimes before work after Essentrics, and on weekends with my husband in the morning.

  4. I’m trying to eat a diet higher protein, with less fat. I love chocolate, I love wine and unusual cocktails. But, I’m working to have less of that (or at least eat really well during the week so I don’t feel guilty if I do). I love a smoothie in the morning with 0% fat organic plain yogurt, a cup of frozen pesticide-free fruit (mango!), half a banana and low-cal almond or cashew milk. Lots of fruit during the day, almonds, chicken, salmon. Less snacks at night.
  5. I find that doing one thing right (Essentrics in the morning) inspires me to continue to make good choices during the day. If I miss my routine, I’m far more likely to have comfort food and slack off on the couch.

The Toughest Part of Being a Writer: Organizing Everything!

HonestlyI love writing and am true to myself so what others think isn’t that big a deal.

Of course I love good reviews, but I write for me and if I’m satisfied with it, that’s what counts most. The toughest part is organizing everything.

I put out a trilogy this year all at once. That was a tremendous amount of work. But, I cut myself some slack because I realize that writing novels will never be my full-time job (although in real life, I write and edit for a living.)

And, as someone who does marketing in real life, I understand the long shot that it is for an indie or even traditionally published author to make waves in a saturated market with little funds for promotion. So, I don’t expect tons; I simply have a plan and am being patient.

None of this will make or break my life. They’re just books, not my children.

I Saddled Myself with a Small Publisher Who Took Advantage of Me

My darkest moment was when I realized I had saddled myself with a small publisher who was taking advantage of me.

They had approached me and, after seeking legal advice, I signed for five books. The nagging voice in my head at some of their decisions became screams of outrage about eight months later when I realized just how much they lacked for any vision, funding or initiative.

They were making me look foolish to prospective readers and local bookstores.

I asked nicely to be let out of my contract because it coincided with a very down time in my life and I couldn’t deal with them anymore. They kept putting me off and trying to convince me to stay. Therefore, I bided my time, waited for them to miss several important deadlines in the contract and then sent them a letter demanding my release and letting them know I’d take them to court and tell the judge about one particular fraudulent aspect of their dealings with me.

I had my release and all rights to my books back within about six hours.

I Never Thought I’d Be Able to Write a Novel—It Seemed Too Formidable!

I wanted to be a writer from the time I was a little girl.

I never thought I’d actually be able to write a novel. It seemed too formidable. But, I challenged myself to do it about five years ago and, once I did one, the rest flowed.

I’ve written five now and it’s because of that same love of writing; the desire to tell a story, to please someone who might find what I write enjoyable. It’s just something that’s part of me.

Advice for a Young Writer: The More Books You Have Out There, the Better

Keep your day job! At first.

There are ways to make money through many online sites, but the reality is, it’s a very challenging area to make money as a novelist. You might be the one in a million who strikes it rich, but most of us settle for writing in our free time.

Be realistic about it. From what I know, those who can quit their day jobs are the ones who just keep writing books. They don’t spend three or four years on one. They just write and write and write.

The more books you have out there, the more those books can work making money for you. Author Dean Wesley Smith has an excellent website that speaks about this: Lots of tough-talking, straight-shooting advice.

* * *

Jennifer Ammoscato is a paid, productive member of society. Frankly, it’s not enough. Therefore, she has launched the chick lit Avery Fowler 2.0 trilogy: Dear Internet: It’s Me, Avery; The Internet Made Me Do It; and The Internet Never Lies (2017).

During the day, she is an intrepid writer/editor for the public relations department of a Canadian university. By night, she fights crime (maybe not) and the urge to organize closets and stuff herself with salted chocolate caramels.

She is married to her husband, Ezio, and is the proud mom of two very tall sons, Dante and Christian. For more information on Jennifer and her work, please see her website, or connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

Dear InternetDear Internet: It’s Me, Avery: Don’t pretend you’ve never checked that weird mole on WebMD. Or how to fold meringue on Epicurious. And, there’s no way I’m the only one who clears her search history after looking up how to give a great bl— (Um, that last one’s not important.)

Avery Fowler’s husband is a cheat and her new boss a bitch. So, naturally, she clicks for help.

Armed with the Holy Grail of web self-help, HowTo.com, and its virtual life coach Clementine, our heroine tackles such tricky questions as dating after divorce, sex once nothing points north anymore, and becoming the new and improved Avery Fowler 2.0.

Available on Amazon.

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