Featured Writer on Wellness: A.J. Eversley

Filed in Writers on Wellness by on January 17, 2018 • views: 838

This was taken last year at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter (hence the butter beer), what you can’t see is my shirt that says ‘Bro, do you even Leviosa?’ which is my all time fave…I mentioned I like Harry Potter right??”

I think the overall ups and downs in this industry can be quite stressful,
depressing and discouraging.

One day you will get a 5-star glowing review and the next you get a 1-star negative review and its hard to realize that you can’t please everyone.

I have definitely taken negative feedback way to much to heart and it has threatened to stop my writing OR change my writing. But in the end I have surrounded myself with positive people who have helped me get back on track.

The easiest way for me to relax and cope with stress is to take a nice warm bath and read a book (that isn’t mine!). I find when I get back to the whole reason I starting writing (which stemmed from my love of READING!) I realize that in the grand scheme of things, its an accomplishment in and of itself that I’ve written a book (or books) and a nice hot bath brings me back to a calm place in my life where I can remind myself of that!

I Went from Being Too Active to Not Active Enough

Before I became a writer I spent A LOT of time in the gym. I am a Health and Wellness Coordinator by trade in my “full time” job and that involves a lot of training, teaching and being active.

About four years ago I injured my back to the point that I am still unable to do a lot of what I used to be able to. I have had to scale back on teaching and training (moving more into the coordinator position where I arrange others to teach and train clients) and it was VERY stressful.

Ironically about a year after I got injured I started writing. It started mostly as a hobby, something to keep my brain active seeing as my body couldn’t be active, and it was both helpful and a whole other issue all a the same time.

I found that allowing my body to rest and not always try to be as active as I was before (training seven days a week for one-two hours a day) allowed my body to heal! Then once it healed and I really started to get into my writing I found it started to go backwards as now I was too inactive and sitting for long periods of time…so the back pain returned!

My Three-Step Process to Avoiding Back Pain

It took me a long time to find a happy medium, and I did find a few things to help with the back pain that still exists but is under control.

First I always do my writing in the morning. I find my back feels the best first thing and I can manage longer sit times earlier than I can late at night.

Second I set a timer on my watch to get up and move (even if its just to go to the bathroom) every 30 minutes! This one has been a game changer as it not only helps with my back but gives my mind a break as well.

Lastly I set aside 20 minutes a day for physio exercise. Even if my back isn’t hurting I know the value of keeping my joints moving and muscles relaxed. The Foam Roller has become my best friend and I now find that when I DON’T do these things I instantly regret it!

Here’s my dog Moto creepily watching me relax in the bath tub after a hard day of writing.

I Am So Grateful for People Who Know What I’m Going Through

I had just finished writing book 2 of my series and felt it was a GREAT book, but I received feedback from an ARC reader who LOVED book 1 and he had some complaints and was not as impressed as I had hoped.

I had this moment of “What was I thinking?” and “I’m not as good as I thought I was” and it actually took me a long time to rebound.

Luckily I have some great friends, and an even better editor who assured me that I wasn’t horrible and WAS doing something great. At first I was so embarrassed and felt like a disappointment that I didn’t want to tell anyone about my failings. But when I finally spoke up my friends and editors walked me off the cliff!

I am so grateful for people who have my back and know what I am going through!

My Greatest Triumph: When I Felt Like I Made a Difference

I got a review recently from a reader who said she had previously written off the dystopian genre altogether as she had been disappointed too many times by books that failed to live up to the hype…she read my first book Watcher and said I renewed her hope in the genre and she LOVED it!

It wasn’t the fact that she loved the book, but that I was able to bring back a positive feeling towards a previously negative thing/genre and renew hope in someone who clearly just loves reading!

That was pretty awesome as it felt like I “made a difference.” That’s a hard thing to have happen when I am writing a series that is in a dark or depressing genre like dystopian! So I was pretty happy with that!

I Am the Only One Who Knows My Story

I think the main thing that has kept me going is the characters I write about.

They are constantly playing their stories in my head and I feel like I HAVE to tell their story to someone, because no one else but me can! I am the only one who knows my story, the only one who can tell it!

And if I don’t, the characters I write would never let me live it down.

Advice for a Young Writer: Don’t Let Anyone Tell You You Can’t Do It

Absolutely do it! Don’t let anyone tell you you can’t do it, or what you need to write or be in order for that to happen, just write!

I was never good in language arts class as kid…in fact, I had to do summer school between grade 10 and 11 just so I could pass the following year!

BUT that never deterred my love for reading, which spurred my love for writing. So keep writing, believe in yourself, and know that you’re the only one who can tell the story you have in your heart, so just keep writing and tell that story!

* * *

AJ Eversley is the author of the YA sci-fi dystopian series Watcher. A true north Canadian girl, AJ currently lives in Central Alberta with her husband and dog.

When she’s not writing, she can be found binge watching “Harry Potter,” quoting various movies in every day conversation, and eating copious amounts of candy.

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

Watcher – Book 1 of the Watcher Series: “I knew I was not alone. They would never leave until every last one of us was gone.”

Sawyer Russo has sworn to protect humanity, and as a Watcher she’s done just that. But the Bots and Carbons that took her city are evolving, and they are picking the Watchers off one by one. One last rescue mission will change everything.

But when someone betrays them, the line between friend and foe is no longer easily drawn. Sawyer made a vow, and she will fulfill it, even if it means ending the person who deceived them, no matter who it might be.

It all comes down to one choice…Who can she save? And who does she have to let go?

Available at Amazon.

Carbon – Book 2 of the Watcher Series: Strangers become allies. Lovers become enemies. And a destiny formed before birth unfolds.

​Sawyer spent most of her life hunting the very thing she has now become.  No longer the Watcher she once was, Sawyer struggles to make sense of her new identity. Though she now has the powers of a Carbon, she is also tied to the control Coleman has over all of his creations.

Desperate for help and answers, Sawyer travels to the United Isles with Max in search of an ally. Not only must she learn to harness her new abilities, she must find a way to mend a broken heart…if her past doesn’t kill her first.

The epic journey continues, and the war for the human race draws ever closer. Join the resistance in the next chapter of the Watcher Series.

Available at Amazon.


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Comments (2)

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  1. I sympathize with the back pain issues — I’ve found that muscle relaxation is the key. Your suggestion to get up and move every 30 minutes is also excellent advice.

    As a fan of dystopian novels, I appreciate Colleen hosting you here on Writing and Wellness. Thanks for the introduction, Colleen.

    • AJ Eversley says:

      Thanks Patricia and thanks Colleen for inviting me to come share my story!! I’m sure many can relate to back pain or other chronic issues so hopefully a few tips help others as they’ve helped me 🙂