Featured Writer on Wellness: Jean Moore

Filed in Writers on Wellness by on June 12, 2019 • views: 497

My biggest emotional challenge is balancing writing with promotion.

And frankly, I often feel it’s a challenge I’m not mastering.

I find it difficult to carve out the time to write when I’m in the midst of promoting a book. I admire writers who seem to manage it all so smoothly.

Another emotional challenge for me is putting it all in perspective, trying to maintain balance when I’m trying to answer emails, engage with readers, arrange for book clubs, bookstores, and interviews. All of these things are wonderful, but they take time and emotional energy.

How Yoga and Walking Help Me with the Emotional Challenges of Writing

I have been practicing yoga for many years. I’m a registered yoga teacher and ran my own yoga studio in the Berkshires in Massachusetts for a time, something I truly enjoyed.

So when I have emotional challenges associated with publishing, I can’t help but wonder where all that wisdom has gone! Well, actually, it is still there, I just have to remind myself that I’m human. And yoga is in fact a lifesaver for me.

I also have to lace up my sneakers and get out there for a good long walk. That practice too is revitalizing and so necessary for my sense of wellbeing.

When I Exercise, Eat Sensibly, and Sleep at Night, the Rest Falls Into Place

The biggest physical challenge for me is closing my laptop and changing the scenery.

I’m a little obsessive, so when I’m working on a project, I tend to plow through until I’m done. Not good! Not for my circulation, my back, or my eyes.

I try to take a break every hour or so to drink some water and rest my eyes. After several hours I try to walk and to stretch.

All I can say is that when I exercise, eat sensibly, and sleep at night, the rest of it falls into place. It’s having the discipline to do those good things that makes all the difference. It should be so easy. I wish I had a magic formula, but I do know that when I take good care of myself, I’m much better off for it. (So is everyone else around me!)

Once You Experience the Pleasure of Creating Things, There’s No Going Back

I have long believed that we are all creative beings. The key is how (or if) we allow ourselves to tap into what’s available for us.

For me, it’s been a matter of giving my imagination free rein to roam around in the corners of my brain to see what’s there. So conversely, if I’m under stress or distracted for various reasons, that creative creature curls up in a little ball somewhere and takes a nap, far from my view. That can be a lonely time.

Once you’ve experience the pleasure of creating things you didn’t even know you were capable of, there’s no going back. We as humans owe it to ourselves to enter into that world. And I think the world would be a better place for it, too. The creative places in us tend by nature to be empathetic and compassionate. (Not always, I know, but the potential is there.)

Doesn’t It All Come to Be a Question of Time?

I haven’t really thought about a dark moment in my writing career, mainly because I feel so fortunate to do this work at all. Having come to it later in life, I cope with challenges, but I count myself lucky to be able to write.

I know there are many talented writers who because of other commitments struggle to find the time, and I think that must be very hard.

I would say, the “greyest” moment comes when I question whether I will get to all those ideas I want to put down on paper. For me, it’s a matter of “Time’s winged chariot,” but doesn’t it always, one way or another, come to be a question of time?

Let’s Be Honest: I Write to be Read

Let me be perfectly honest: I write to be read. And I believe every writer does, so when I hear someone say the joy is in the writing alone, I’m skeptical.

But there is something magical that occurs when you read something you’ve written, and you can’t believe it was you. Where did it come from? You didn’t even know you knew such things. It’s as close as you can come to a mystical experience as a writer, and it’s wonderful.

So that’s a deeply satisfying and solitary outcome of the creative process. But rest assured, the very next drive is to have it read.

I Love Hearing Readers’ Comments

What keeps me on my path: One is the “mystical” experience described above. But I have more.

Two is the pleasure that comes from creativity, and three is having an appreciative audience. That is one of the reasons why I love going to book clubs and hearing readers’ comments. How exciting it is to have readers tell you things that either you hoped they would appreciate or—and even more exciting—have them make connections that are a revelation to you.

I have to say also, I am deeply moved when readers tell me that something I have written has made a difference in their lives.

Advice for a Young Writer: Remain Humble and Keep Working as Though Your Life Depends on It

I would ask first, would you be incomplete if you could not write?

If yes, then I would ask, can you take feedback or advice that may hurt you to hear?

If yes, then: Would you know what advice to take and what to leave?

From there it gets trickier: Can you take rejection—and a lot of it? Will you revise, revise, revise? Can you take more rejection? Will you remain humble and keep working as though your life depends on it when acceptance begins to come your way? Will you be kind to others who may need your help and advice one day?

Oh, and I should add, will you take the time that is required to learn the business side of things, even if you think your job is done once you’ve been published? If you can do all that, you just might be a writer.

* * *

Jean P. Moore was born in Brooklyn, New York, and grew up in Miami, Florida. She received her PhD in English and began her professional career teaching American literature and writing. She later worked in telecommunications as an executive director of workforce development, a position she held for a number of years.

Jean has since returned to her first loves: the study of literature and writing. Her work has appeared in newspapers, magazines, and literary journals such as upstreet, SN Review, The Timberline Review, Angels Flight Literary West, Fiction Southeast, the Hartford Courant, and the Philadelphia Inquirer. Her novel Water on the Moon, published in June 2014, won the 2015 Independent Publisher Book Award for contemporary fiction. Her poetry chapbook, Time’s Tyranny, was published in the fall of 2017 by Finishing Line Press and was nominated for The Massachusetts Book Award, 2018. Tilda’s Promise, a novel, was published in September 2018.

Jean and her husband divide their time between Greenwich, Connecticut and the Berkshires in Massachusetts. For more information on Jean and her work, please see her website, or connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Jean also has a book newsletter under the Book Group tab on her website, where subscribers are the reviewers!

Tilda’s Promise: Amidst all the characters in this moving novel of loss, love, and renewal, the two who grieve hardest have the most to discover.

Tilda Carr has lost the love of her life―her husband, Harold―after forty years of marriage, while her granddaughter and namesake, Tilly, has lost her grandfather and best friend.

Together they will embark on a journey of discovery in this intergenerational story of friends, family, and lovers―and learn that there is always hope for new beginnings.

Available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and IndieBound.

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Comments (2)

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  1. Kay Rae Chomic says:

    Loved reading this! I so agree with ‘once you’ve experienced the pleasure of creating things, there’s no going back.’
    And, yes promotion is the sliver in the writing finger:)
    Wonderful to get to know more about you, Jean.

  2. Nice to meet you, Jean! I feel the same way about promotion. I cannot find my balance nor the magic trick, or any magic bit about it! This summer I’m taking a break from it and just enjoying creating and time to relax. Enjoy the summer. 🙂