Janice Hanna Thompson

Janice Hanna Thompson—a south Texas native—is the author of over sixty novels and non-fiction books for the Christian market. She supplements her fiction habit by writing magazine articles, devotions, write-for-hire books and more. One of the chief joys of Janice’s life is training writers to earn a living with the written word. Check out Janice’s “Becoming a Successful Freelance Writer,” course at www.freelancewritingcourses.com. The ten lessons in this course were developed to strategically train freelance writers to earn top dollar. Each lesson includes an audio file (mp3 for download), a corresponding audio script, a downloadable worksheet, a power point video, a bonus feature, and full access to the site’s forum. Email Janice at booksbyjanice[at]aol[dot]com to learn more, or visit her website at www.janicehannathompson.com.

Supplementing Your Fiction Habit

Health, Wealth, and Prosperity

Rich, fatty foods are like destiny: they too, shape our ends.

Yes, folks! You really can have it all! Health! Wealth! Prosperity! All you’ve ever dreamed of and more!

Yep, I thought that intro (with its overuse of exclamation points) might get your attention. We’ve spent the last several months talking about goal setting. I’ve had a blast sharing my ideas. We’ve talked about going for the gusto, having the right perspective to succeed as a freelancer, and the critical role that attitude plays in our journey toward success.

But wait . . . there’s more! Sharing the following piece of advice requires me to come clean about something that closely affects my personal journey as a freelancer . . . and possibly yours, as well. We can set all the goals we like. We can change our attitude. We can strategize, sharpen our skills, and sit in front of the computer ten hours a day. But if we’re in bad shape (physically), what we produce will be sub-par.

Working from home: What Bliss! What Joy!


Maybe not. For most of my adult life I’ve worked from home. Doing so has its benefits: you can spend more time with your family, wear what you like to work, set your own hours, establish your own rhythm, etc.; however, working from home produces an environment that can, if we’re not careful, put us in harm’s way. It would be wrong of me not to share my personal journey so that you can glean what you will from it. To do so requires vulnerability on my part.

(Janice takes a deep breath.)

Ack. I hate to admit this, but for most of my “freelancing” life I’ve been seriously overweight. We’re not talking a pound or two. We’re talking dragging-ten-bowling-balls-around-with-you-everywhere-you-go overweight. (Got the visual? The phrase “Hefty, hefty, hefty!” comes to mind.)

No one really blamed me. Well, not to my face, anyway. My friends were too busy supporting my various books and other writing projects to spend much time advising or scolding me about my weight. Most understand that writing is sedentary work. I sit at the computer most of the day, pounding out stories, articles, blog entries, marketing strategies, and so on.

Unfortunately, the “extra poundage” (as I like to call it) caught up with me. In 2009, after several years of severe joint pain, I was diagnosed with a serious form of arthritis. After that came major meds and “suggestions” from the doctor and friends that I lose weight. In my head I knew it made sense. Talking my heart into it was another thing altogether.

In January of 2010 I set off on an adventure to lose a few pounds. I’d done this before. In fact, my biggest fear was that I would lose weight then gain it back. (I’d also done this before, to my horror and shame. I’d even written I Must Decrease, a comedic nonfiction book offering tips and tidbits to dieters.) With so many readers and editors seeing me in the public eye, could I put myself out there again? What if I fouled up once more?

Between January of 2010 and today, I’ve lost 85 pounds. I’ve done the usual things: cut back on calories and carbs, started

using the Wii Fit, bought an elliptical machine, and started taking some amazing supplements that make me feel better. I don’t have a magic formula or some “health wand” I can wave, but, with the Lord’s help, what I’m doing seems to be working!

I don’t share my story to brag. If anything, I share it with fear and trembling because it puts my weight loss in the public eye. I tell you this because it has revolutionized my freelancing business!

What do weight, diet, and money have in common? One thing: If you feel better, you work better. And if you work better, you produce better stories, articles, blogs, etc. Now you see why I titled this article “Health, Wealth, and Prosperity.” I’m not giving you a name-it-and-claim-it theological tip here; I’m simply telling you that feeling better gives you better results with your writing.

Think about it. On an average day a full-time freelancer crawls out of bed, hefts his/her chubby self to the in-home office, swallows a high carb, coffee-infused breakfast, and sets off to write “The Great American Novel” (or an article meant to tickle an editor’s fancy). By mid-morning she’s fuzzy-headed and hungry for lunch. If the food choices at lunch are poor (and/or sugary afternoon snacks are added to the equation), you can imagine the sort of work she will produce by mid-afternoon! Oy! Add a little chicken-fried steak to dinner and you’ve got the potential for a poor night’s sleep and a creative breakdown the following day. Our creativity is, after all, dependent on the amount of rest we get and what we feed our bodies. (Yep. We really are what we eat!)

I’m just starting to “get” all of this, folks, so I’m teaching by (recent) example here. Changing my diet and exercise has shifted my mental status. Now that I’m more focused and alert, my writing has improved. So has my desire to make a living doing what I love.

It’s not too late to start fresh in this area. If you’ve struggled with your diet/exercise in the past, don’t let that hinder you in the future. Tomorrow is a new day. While you’re setting your goals for the months ahead, set a few that pertain to your health, as well. Your body will thank you . . . and so will your writing!