Jill Nutter/Jillian Kent

Jillian Kent's, Chameleon, The Ravensmoore Chronicles, Book Two released in May 2012 and Book Three, Mystery of the Heart, will release in January 2013. Jill is a full-time counselor for nursing students in Cincinnati, Ohio and possesses a masters degree in social work. She is a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors and is passionate about mental health, wellness, and stomping out the stigma of mental illness. You can reach her at and explore further at The website for the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is and offers a variety of help and information.

The Well Writer

A Year in Review

It’s been one year since the first The Well Writer article appeared in this awesome Christian Fiction Online Magazine. It’s been a wonderful year of encouragement, information, and thought-provoking questions regarding multiple aspects of your health. The team approached questions in a number of different and creative ways.

I started with the question “Are You a Healthy Writer?” It’s easy to allow other priorities in our lives to interfere with taking care of ourselves. I asked another question: “Did you know that Sir Winston Churchill suffered from depression? He called it his Black Dog” ( We must remember that our health is a priority and that includes our mental health. Dr. Richard Mabry got us ready for the ACFW Conference last September with his post about staying healthy at conference: “Going to Conference? Don’t Be a Typhoid Mary.” He reminded us that, “a major part of prevention is hand washing.”

Serena B. Miller took us through the difficulties of “Writing and Keeping Deadlines Through a Family Illness,” using her husband’s illness in this situation, and taught us how the importance of routine can make a difference. “Each small routine helped me feel just a little more in control, a little more like maybe we could get through this.” In November, Megan DiMaria, in “Writers―Be Refreshed,” reminded us of the importance of taking care of our creativity by taking care of us: “To maintain creativity, a writer needs to stay refreshed by nurturing good physical, spiritual, and emotional health.”

December’s Christmas issue wrapped up 2011 with a beautiful bouquet by Pepper Basham and her article entitled “Life as a Manuscript.” Pepper said, “But just as our characters cannot flee the pages of our books, no matter how horribly wrong our choices become, our lives are still bound within the love of God and covered by His protective will. We cannot outrun it, break it, or stop it. We can’t mess up the pages so much that they’re beyond His editing power.”

Kathi Lipp rang in the New Year of 2012 with her awesome sense of humor in “Goal Making for a Struggling Writer (or What the Writing Books Never Tell You).” How’s that for starting the year right? And Kathi wondered if a nonfiction writer would be welcome on the team. Silly girl. Make short, stupid Goals, she wrote. “Stupid goals are the reason we all love a good NaNoWriMo Challenge. Writing 50,000 words in thirty days? Crazy. But sometimes a little crazy is what is required to get things done.”

Then February rolled around and Valentine’s Day was on our minds as I wrote about “Heart Rhythms.” “To be strong writers we need to take good care of all aspects of our hearts. God is revealed in the love in our relationships and the love that shines through in our writing.” I discussed wounded hearts, poetic

hearts, loving hearts , and heart disease. The month of March zoomed in with Kathi Lipp again and her thoughts on “Waste Your Words: A Recovering Word Hoarder’s Guide to Marketing.” Kathi encouraged us to use great words rather than save them for the next best thing. “Waste your words. That’s the great thing about being an author, you get to make up new ones.”

Serena Miller introduced us to “Lessons from the Amish” in April. She said this of one special family: “A seventy-three-year-old mother of twelve grown children told me that their family had been blessed with uncommonly good health—part of which she attributed to her husband having trained himself in reflexology (the holistic practice of massaging certain pressure points in the feet) and had spent hours massaging their children’s feet over the years when they were not feeling well. She said they found this practice to have great healing properties.”

“The Resilient Writer” was my topic in May. I discussed the importance of positive thinking, knowing your strengths and weaknesses, developing a fitness plan, and seeking counseling as needed. We have to learn how to bounce back from all kinds of stressors in this world, including rejection. Megan DiMaria explored “Boundaries: AKA Establishing Time and Space to Write Effectively.” She encouraged us with many ideas, such as using a timer, keeping goals in mind, and having accountability partners. Megan reminded us, “To be successful, you must protect your writing time. Don’t feel as if it’s an act of selfishness. If you’re called to write, it’s up to you to carve out the time and space to do it.”

Pepper D. Basham wrapped up our year in July with thoughts about coping with “Fear and Overload” by reminding us of whose we are. She recommends that if we get distracted, we should fill our minds with the truth of God. We were created for a purpose, and within the folds of that purpose is the call to write. She reminds us that fear cannot win against Jesus. He conquered it all.

My thanks to this group of writers who have joined me this past year to help us find ways to remain well, physically, mentally, and spiritually in the challenging world in which we live. If you’ve missed any of these articles, please go to the Archives whenever you have a chance. We look forward to bringing you another year of wellness thoughts and ideas so that you may continue to create and thrive in God’s purpose for your lives.