What Working Out Taught Us about Writing OR How We Saved Our Writerly Asses

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photo by lululemon athletica

Therese here. Today’s collaborative guests do a great job of explaining the genesis of this post in their intro, so I won’t repeat that here. Instead, I’ll tell you a bit about them.

Julia Munroe Martin is a novelist-in-progress, living in an old house on the coast of Maine. She blogs about writing and the writing life, and her Twitter account–@wordsxo–was named a “Top Twitter Feed to Watch” by The Writer magazine (July 2012).

Bernadette Phipps-Lincke was born in the UK, and grew up in California. Her first novel, a paranormal thriller called Burning Lily, will be published in the near future with Freya’s Bower/Wild Child.

Take it away, Julia and Bernadette!

What Working Out Taught Us about Writing OR How We Saved Our Writerly Asses

Let’s face it, we writers spend a lot of time sitting—after all, that’s where most of the work of getting words on paper happens: sitting in front of a computer. And those long hours in a chair can lead to a myriad of problems, from the annoying but relatively benign (like writer’s block) to the life-threatening (recent research shows that sitting for long hours shortens your lifespan).

When Writer Unboxed made a recent pitch request on Facebook, we both replied with similar ideas for a guest post. Turns out each of us have had similar epiphanies about exercise: not only did it make us feel better physically but it actually inspired writing ideas and increased productivity.

Therese asked if we were interested in collaborating on a post about exercise and writing. And so it was that the two of us—writers on opposite coasts who had never met—began a conversation on Facebook. From those conversations we realized that each of us had similar experiences, and through our conversations we were able to come up with four tips: things exercise taught us as writers.

1. Exercise unlocks the writing brain.

Julia: At the end of May I was stuck. I was querying one novel, and I had a great idea for a mystery novel. But I wasn’t writing much. Worse, I was leading a dangerously sedentary writing life, spending way too much time sitting and on the computer. I was pretty miserable—physically, mentally, and emotionally. I knew I had to do something.

Just a few short years ago I was in peak condition. In addition to cardio, I did a lot of strength training—which helped me get in shape and feel great all the time. Even better, it made me feel strong and powerful! But over the years I’d fallen into a sedentary lifestyle. My exercise consisted of walking the dog, and she’s getting pretty old so even that had turned into more of a slow trudge. I realized that maybe it wasn’t just my body stagnating but maybe my brain too. I knew I had to do something. I started taking walks, lifted weights a few times, and I immediately noticed I was more interested in writing again. To encourage myself, I bought an indoor recumbent bike (it allows me to read while I exercise and here in Mainewe have long winters, and I wasn’t about to let that slow me down!). I was putting more words on the page, and—more importantly—I was enjoying writing again!

Bernadette: You can break through your blocks and become a smarter writer. All you have to do is start moving. All you have to do is start moving. Said John Ratey, M.D., a clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School in his book Spark, The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain, “[M]oving our muscles produces proteins that travel through the bloodstream and into the brain, where they play pivotal roles in the mechanisms of our highest thought processes.”

On completing my first novel (after three years and five full rewrites), I came out of the haze of living in my fantasy world to find myself glued to my chair, surrounded by candy wrappers, and pounds heavier. I vowed to start a fitness program to get back into shape. However, pumped by signing a publishing contract, and on a creative high, I placed everything including my fitness plans on the back burner, and succumbed to the siren’s call of my muse. I dived into my new project armed and prepared. I had an intense outline, I knew exactly what I needed to do to get from point A to point B…and I ran out of steam.

Confiding my creative frustrations to my youngest son, Sean, got the ball rolling for me.  Sean, the lead singer in a heavy metal band and a vegetarian with a consistent workout routine, claimed that exercise helped him build the physical stamina necessary to unlock the creativity for his craft. With Sean’s encouragement, I joined a gym.

After a week on the treadmill, and of swimming and weightlifting, I began to feel better. In the third week, I had an epiphany in the middle of a stomach crunch that broke through my writer’s block and opened the creative floodgates.

2. Use exercise to tap into the brain’s chemical connections.

Julia: When I wasn’t exercising on a regular basis my brain felt foggy. So much so that I did some research and found this on Livestrong:

Brain fog is more than just a momentary lapse in clarity. It is a mist that clouds your mind, as though someone has turned up the gravity inside of your head.”

That’s exactly what I was feeling. At times I felt so foggy-headed I not only couldn’t write—I didn’t want to write. Turns out that old adage: Walk to clear your head really works. Exercise increases the blood flow to the brain, increases feel-good endorphins. Studies show that blood vessels can grow “even in middle-aged sedentary animals” in response to exercise, which is good news to those of us who are middle-aged sedentary animals. Since I started my regular intense exercise schedule, my brain fog is completely gone. In fact I had totally forgotten about it until I started writing this post!

Bernadette: Exercise stimulates the manufacturing of BDNF (Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor). BDNF proteins are the basis for learning, and memory. Dr. Ratey describes BDNF as “Miracle Gro for the brain”—so, imagine what the stimulation of BDNF can do for your writing.

Since I’ve started my workout routine, my endurance has grown both physically and mentally. I’m halfway through the second draft of my WIP, and before I started exercising I couldn’t even complete three chapters of the first draft.

3. Feel the burn.

Bernadette: As writers, we spend a lot of time sitting in front of the computer. Muscle is denser than fat, and burns more calories when sitting. A good exercise routine that includes weight lifting to build up muscle will help you burn calories EVEN WHILE SITTING AT THE COMPUTER.

Julia: Research has shown that vigorous exercise, aka “feeling the burn” can trigger the release of endorphins—the “feel good” hormone. The endorphins also help lessen pain, and to me that means exercise may help me cope better with the ups and downs of the writing life: the solitude, the rejections, the insecurities. And there’s a writing analogy, too. I feel a “writer’s burn” when I push myself with my writing, do things I’m not necessarily comfortable with, like when I recently took a fiction class. I had to do writing prompts and read my work out loud in class. Yes, I was uncomfortable. Yes, I felt the writer’s burn, and yes, I felt a rush after it was over—not sure if it was endorphins or adrenaline, but it was a rush! And amazingly that class made me a better writer—even though I dreaded going every single time, and felt the burn!

4. Consistency is the key (to working out AND to writing).

Julia: Every day over the summer I followed a set routine: strength training first thing in the morning, write, ride the bike while reading, write again, more bike reading. At the beginning I could barely make it through a half hour on the bike without huffing and puffing—I told you I was in pretty dire shape—although to be fair to myself, I did set the interval training at the hardest setting. But here’s what happened. Slowly, I edged my time on the bike higher—now, most days I ride a total of 60 to 90 minutes or more. And the same thing happened with the weights. I started out with 5-pound dumbbells, doing three sets of 8 (a variety of exercises totaling about an hour a day), and I’m now lifting 10 to 15 pound dumbbells, doing three sets of 15. Similarly my word count increased, starting at about 6000 words a week and ending with a staggering 17,000 words the week I finished the first draft. Day after day, week after week the words racked up and within eight weeks I had written over 85,000 words. I learned when I could push myself—both with exercise and with writing—and the limits kept pushing higher.

Bernadette: Losing unnecessary weight and improving your fitness level won’t happen overnight. It takes a period of time when you’re consistently working out. In addition, to avoid languishing at a plateau, you have to challenge your body by changing up your routine, as well as adding tougher exercises. Once you have reached your desired fitness goal, you have to maintain it with a steady exercise routine.

Just like writing.

It takes perseverance to complete a writing project. And, you have to constantly hone and challenge your skills to maintain and grow as a writer.

Final thoughts…

Bernadette: As I embrace a healthier lifestyle through exercise, I’ve found it beneficial to incorporate fitter eating habits.  I’ve cut down my chocolate intake while writing, by mixing in raw berries and nuts, and I’ve substituted dark chocolate for milk chocolate because it’s healthier for the heart. I’ve also cut out traditional coffee creamers, use almond milk, and limited my coffee intake to two cups a day.

Julia: Clearly these tips are based on our own experiences, things that worked for us as individuals—and each of us has a different approach to a similar end. We don’t claim to be experts nor are we suggesting our approaches would work for everyone. But what we do agree on is that it’s critical that we writers get up and get moving. Hours at a table, writing, can be hazardous to your physical health, your mental health, and your emotional wellbeing. And beyond that, moving your body can be just downright fun, invigorating, and produce great new writing ideas!

Bottom line: Find the fitness routines, like the writing routines that work to bring out the best in you.

What do you do to get moving? Do you see a difference in your writing and/or motivation after an exercise session? What fitness routine helps best with your writing?

Readers, you can learn more about Julia Munroe Martin on her blog, and by following her on Facebook and Twitter.

You can also follow Bernadette Phipps-Lincke on Facebook.

Write on!

 

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About Julia Munroe Martin

Julia Munroe Martin (@wordsxo) is a writer and blogger who lives in an old house in southern coastal Maine. Julia's other passion is photography, and if she's not writing at the dining room table or a local coffeeshop, you'll likely find her on the beach or dock taking photos. Julia writes The Empty Nest Can Be Murder mystery series as J. M. Maison.

Comments

  1. says

    Thanks for giving me the opportunity to write this collaborative post on Writer Unboxed with Bernadette. Such fun and also will help keep me honest as a writer and in my exercise routine!

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  2. says

    Great stuff. Based on common sense, based on science, based on experience. We have to keep moving or we rust, physically and mentally. And, eating right doesn’t have to be a chore. Revel in those fruits and veggies but don’t be a prig. Throw in a Big Mac now and then. Me? I go to Gold’s Gym every day for a circuit and it works for me. Who wants to be fat and lethargic?

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  3. says

    Thanks so much for putting the act of writing and the action of excersise together. All of my ideas for my novels hen I am on the treadmill. Lot’s of thinking happens there, and by the time I sit infront of a computer I have done more thinking, note taking and the ideas flow.

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    • says

      It’s so interesting you’d mention that, Loretto — much of my writing takes place in my mind away from the computer, too… something about doing other things just sparks my creativity. Glad you enjoyed the post!

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  4. says

    I love this post! I strongly believe in exercise, in all kinds of exercise, and I know that it benefits my writing as well as my life.

    I walk with my dog every day for couple of miles, strength training for an hour 3x week, cardio 3x a week, yoga classes once or twice a week, and Zumba when my knees will allow it. Currently training legs hard to support a badly wrecked knee, and it helps a lot.

    I also think exercise makes you aware of how food and drink feel in your body.

    Not that this regime has made me thin, but I am productive!

    Thanks for this post!

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    • says

      I’m glad you enjoyed the post, and I love the variety of your exercise routine! Your mention of recovery from a knee injury makes a good point about training to prevent and recover from injuries — great point!

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  5. says

    This is a great reminder. It is soooo easy for writers to slip into the sedentary lifestyle beyond the hours we sit in the chair to write. I’m totally tracking with you two and all the evidence that supports a correlation between exercise and creativity! Julia, that brain fog you describe has happened to me before, and vigorous walking or going on the elliptical has always, always lifted the haze. It’s so bizarre, how we’re wired that way, but thank goodness there is a solution! Thanks for this post—especially right before Christmas, where I’m surrounded by more chocolate and baked cookies than usual.

    P.S. I wonder if I’ll ever get in proper shape to be confident enough to have my writerly butt in an oceanside picture for the whole internet world to see? LOL… NOT!

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    • says

      I’m glad you brought up that photo, Barb… I would like to (sadly) point out that it was provided by Writer Unboxed — not my personal files — I doubt very much I’ll ever be comfortable having MY writerly butt in an oceanside photo. As you say: “LOL…NOT” :-)

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  6. says

    Great job to both my tribe mates! I wholeheartedly believe. Another benefit to walking for me is connection to nature. I feel more connected to my characters and my historical setting when I’m out in the forest or on the beach walking.

    I love the correlation of raising the bar on your exercise routine as well as your writing. This was just what I needed today! Thanks, guys!

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    • says

      Aww, thanks, Vaughn! I know exactly what you mean about the connection to nature — me too… and my current WIP has a strong connection to a certain place in a certain woods. So I spend a lot of time there these days. Glad you enjoyed it and could relate!

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  7. Jan Petrie says

    Know Thyself…

    Stay alert to what works for you.

    In the areas of exercise, foods & sleep.

    It helps to better handle stress, increase creativity and increase one’s sense of well being.

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  8. says

    So very true! I, too, used to be a gym rat and have found myself, because of several changes in my life in the past year, sitting waaaay more than I used to.

    It’s bizarre that the more you sit, the more tired you are, but it’s true!

    I also have seen firsthand how moving helps the writing process. I write mystery, and whenever I get stuck on a plot point, walking and talking (whether it’s to my hubby, a girlfriend, or just to myself) almost always helps me figure out where the story needs to go next.

    You ladies just renewed my resolve to get my rear end back into the gym. Thanks!

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    • says

      “It’s bizarre that the more you sit, the more tired you are, but it’s true!” << Great comment! I could not agree more, LynDee! So happy you enjoyed the post and it helped you renew your resolve!

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  9. says

    You don’t even want to get me started on working out :-D My blog is even called “The work-out writer” – and everyone will quickly become sick of my preachifying about health and exercise. I was a personal trainer for years – exercise is always a part of my life- yup, I’m one of those weird strangelings that absolutely love it.

    Great post with great tips, y’all.

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  10. says

    Did you write this post just for me?
    I used to be a serious exerciser,. Even after a started writing I kept up a two hour, circuit training, swim, five days a week. Then I got really busy with children, deadlines, and something had to go. Guess what went.
    Several books, years , pounds later I look back and think Gak. So I’m back at the gym doing weight, strength and cardio with the ladies at the Y. I haven’t been in the fitness machine room. I still struggle to make myself get up from the chair some days but at least being in a class with a set time, keeps me from saying “I’ll go later.”
    I do a lot of plotting in my zumba class. Guess that makes me not a pantser or plotter but a zumbotter.
    Thanks for the great post.

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    • says

      YOUR history could literally be my own. “Something had to go,” words I know more than I can say. Here’s to being a zumbotter or whatever else we need to be to stick to the program! Glad you enjoyed the post and can relate, Shelley!

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  11. Sue LeBreton says

    Great post. Writing and exercising feed each other for me. If I stop writing I don’t feel like exercising and vice versa.

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  12. says

    “All you have to do is start moving” is going to become a new mantra for me.

    Thank you both for this wonderful reminder that we have to embrace all the parts of our life to succeed at any one focus. Even though I know exercising makes me a better writer I whine all the way to the car, grouse over what I could/should be writing while I drive to the club and then shiver in the locker room wondering if I might succumb to my inner child and cut the routine short for one day–then the magic happens, and *always* without fail, as I workout new ideas pop up. I have to stop between sets and plug them into my iPhone to make room for the new ones pushing forth. I end up wanting to stay twice as long as planned and the sun shines internally even if the weather is gray.

    So why is it that the very next day I have to drag my whiny self out of the house yet again? I don’t know the answer–but I do know once I get there the magic will begin anew.

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    • says

      Glad you enjoyed the post, and I agree: “All you have to do is start moving” is a great mantra!! You described my exact feelings so well on so many days, D.D.! Here’s to not giving into our inner child, boy did I need to hear that today!

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  13. says

    I am your “amen choir” on this subject. While not fanatical, I try to work in some kind of exercise every day, whether it be jogging, hiking, lifting, kayaking, or if we’d ever get snow, x-country skiing. The point is to make it enjoyable, and work a little. I prefer the solitary activities where I can let my body get into a rhythm and let, as you both suggested, my mind flow. Great guest blog –congratulations.

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    • says

      Thanks, Julie, glad you enjoyed it and can relate! I love that you do such a wide variety of activities, that’s very cool. I too enjoy the solitary activities, so I know what you mean about that. As you say, great mind flow!

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  14. says

    The life of a writer can easily become quite sedentary. I know that when I get up a bit earlier and start my day with some power yoga or a long walk, I have a much higher energy level, I am more creative, and my thoughts come faster. I will often get into a great workout routine, but the moment something breaks that routine I find it so hard to get back onboard the train.

    Your post came at an excellent time. I’d been berating myself about the need to start working out, though not actually DOING anything about it. And today it is simply gorgeous outside. Getting off my bum and going outside to get some fresh air and exercise. Thanks!

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    • says

      This comment >> The life of a writer can easily become quite sedentary. << is exactly why I got moving, Roxanne, so boy do I know what you mean. And I know exactly what you mean about the breaks in routine making it harder to get back onboard… here's to less berating (which I'm also guilty of) and more just DOING it! I agree!!

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  15. says

    I love this post! I am a runner, and a writer. I absolutely believe that the two are essential ingredients of who I am and feed off of each other. I always have my best ideas while I’m running. When I’m done I usually end up scribbling furiously to get down all of the thoughts that filled my mind while those endorphins were flowing.

    On the flip side, being a runner has taught me the importance of consistent training, goal setting, and never ever giving up. I think I’m learning that these pieces are every bit as important as I pursue the dream of becoming a published author.

    Thanks for the extra motivation!

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  16. says

    Great post, Julia and Bernadette. The exercise that seems to aid my creativity the MOST is running — solo, on dirt trails through the desert. I have recently begun running with a partner (due to mountain lion sightings), but it is NOT the same for my creative mind. Santa just may be delivering a gun and running holster for Christmas so that I can keep my creative juices flowing.

    Like you, Julia, I choose an indoor activity that allows me multitask: treadmill. The Kindle is SO conducive to reading!

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    • says

      I’m so happy you enjoyed the post, Melissa! Okay, I’m truly in awe of anyone who is so dedicated to the outdoors and exercise-induced creativity that she’d carry a weapon of protection. WOW. For me, though, I’ll need to stick to the safety and imaginary adventures provided by my Kindle on the bike…

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  17. says

    Great article. I too, have gotten out of my cardio habit and I know from experience that my brain spins with ideas as I am on on my cardio walks or hittin’ the treadmill. I feel better and am more productive!

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    • says

      So glad you enjoyed it, Beth! As you read, I’ve gotten out of my habit at times (too many to count, actually), too. And I’m always surprised when I get back in the swing at how much better I feel — so I know what you mean. Here’s to better productivity and writing all around :)

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  18. says

    Did you hear the collective “whoosh” of WU readers pushing away from their computers to go exercise? :)

    Loved this post! I find that taking a brisk walk before writing definitely helps clear the fog, and notice the difference if I skip it.

    Thanks, Julia and Bernadette. Your message is critical on so many levels.

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  19. says

    I’ve been walking 5-6 times a week, doing calisthenics and light strength training for about 3 months. I eat fairly well. I have to, we have to as a family because my husband is diabetic. Whole grains, fruits and vegetables, lots of water. My coffee intake has decreased to two cups a day (though most people believe I have an IV of coffee). Real foods, whole foods, cut out the majority of processed and chemical laden foods. A lot of homemade, from scratch cooking and when there are sweets, those are homemade too with substitutes like applesauce, yogurt, whole wheat pastry flour.

    I have learned…I’m hungry. I’m tired. I’m the opposite of all of you. I don’t feel energized. I feel sleepy and tired after exercise and want to do nothing more than collapse. Forget writing. And hungry. My appetite has increased.

    I get very frustrated by it all.

    I want to be one of those who is energized by moving and exercising and whose brain is opened by it and more productive. Maybe one day…

    Lissa

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  20. says

    I started running and writing at the same time. What I learned by training myself up to run for 30 min. without stopping (a miracle for me) helped me with persevering with writing, too. Because life is so busy now, I have changed my exercise routines but I try to exercise at least three times a week with the main goal to be five times. It makes me feel better over all and that means better writing times.

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    • says

      Lara, Thanks for reading! I know exactly what you mean about exercise training translating into writing stamina — exactly my experience as well. Here’s to squeezing in exercise during the busy times; hard for me too!

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  21. says

    Hey, Lissa (if I may)–it sounds like you’ve got something else going on. Have you considered perhaps cutting wheat and possibly gluten from your diet? Or maybe try a yeast-free diet for a while? Perhaps you’re dealing with candida, which . I have a wheat allergy, and if I eat wheat, I end up with symptoms that include fatigue. I was so run-down before it was diagnosed that I didn’t know what was going on (and I’m a reasonably fit, active person). Once I cut wheat out of my diet, I was feeling better within about a week. It’s been 20 years since I learned I had that sensitivity. If it’s a gluten issue, there are lots of products on the market to help with that, too. But do check out the candida diet. And check with your healthcare professionals, as well. Because it sounds like you’re trying to fight something off. Otherwise, you’d feel better with exercise and eating right.

    Anyway, back to the subject at hand — thanks for this. Good reminders, and something I tell not only my fellow writers, but my friends and family, too. :D

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  22. says

    Besides loving the premise of this post, the timing is brilliant. We’re about to hit the holiday season when even the healthiest habits can be threatened. Then comes January, when most of us decide to undo the preceding month’s damage. Perhaps we can avoid that cycle.

    My favorite and most consistent exercise is walking, but I need to do more. I need to rejoin the dance class I attended when I had a vehicle. Between the music, the company, and the requirement to focus on the dance steps, I found it to be a fabulous mental break and engendered ideas.

    Thanks for the push, guys!

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    • says

      Jan, Glad you enjoyed the post — and wow, are you right about the holidays. My kids will be home from college and my habits always take a tumble. Here’s to avoiding that cycle and to me checking out dance classes! Thank you!

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  23. says

    Totally agree with hints in this post. Writers can broaden their minds but also their bottoms unless they exercise the body too. I go to belly dancing for fun and exercise, keep bathers, shampoo and towel as swimming kit in my car to swim wherever interviewing and ‘walk’ rather than ‘coffee’ with friends.

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  24. says

    I completely agree! I am an avid runner and if I don’t get the run in, my motivation, discipline, mental sharpness is not there when I sit down to write an article or to work on my book. Both writing and running are co-dependent for me to function. Thanks for the great links.

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  25. says

    I would write a longer comment reinforcing this good advice and sharing my own story about how exercise helps my creative brain, but instead I’m going to get on my treadmill now.
    Thanks for a thoughtful, well-written, and motivating article.

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  26. says

    Thanks for the reminder and encouragement to fit exercise into the writing schedule, and the references to scientific support. After I went to BONI-HR last spring, I came home and started over on a mystery with a deadline, meaning I HAD to write a minimum of 5 pages a day. A mid-day walk on the country roads around my house was essential. Now that the weather’s changing, I’m back at the gym, which works well too, but takes more time and that extra push to leave the house and head into town! When the snow falls, I’ll be eager for a daily walk or snowshoe tromp.

    One suggestion I haven’t seen mentioned: I challenge myself to come up with three ideas — small or large — for the WIP while I’m walking or working out. That helps me feel more productive — and the sense of accomplishment that exercise brings is as important as the physical benefits!

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    • says

      Glad you enjoyed it, Leslie! And I love your idea of the challenge to come up with ideas during the process. When I multi-task on the bike (reading and riding) that’s how I view it — as a challenge — so I know just what you mean!

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  27. says

    I’m a bit late on the comment train, but I thought I’d share my thoughts, too. Amen, I say! I walk three times a day (during my breaks) and try to do so on the weekends. When i visit the elliptical I find it loosens up my brain and helps me run with new ideas. making myself get up and walk, I find, is a great defense against “writer’s butt” which occurs when you can’t feel your backside any more because you’ve been sitting so long and it begins to conform to the shape of the chair. And getting out in the fresh air? So good for the soul and the skin! The body needs as much maintenance as the mind!

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    • says

      I’m so glad you enjoyed the post, Jillian, and I so agree about fresh air. Although I do a lot of indoor exercise (on the bike and with weights) I do take our dog out to the woods and meadows — regardless of the time of year — and it’s wonderful, and definitely good for the soul and skin!

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  28. says

    This article hit the mark with flying colors. The two of you did an excellent job both in supplying facts and sharing your own experiences. We plan on circulating this article on our Facebook page.

    We practically grew up outside (this was because our mother would toss our siblings and us out into the yard before dinner so she could have a few hours of sanity), so we are no strangers to enjoying the great outdoors. When we grew older and our parents urged us to embark on an actual exercise routine, we at first viewed it with suspicion. However, we quickly came to appreciate all the benefits of working out, such as mental clarity and physical well-being. It has come to a point now that, whenever we go out for a run, we have to bring along a small notebook and pencil, for more often than not our best ideas come with the advent of fresh air and sunshine!

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  29. says

    Great article!

    I take a dance class every morning at 6am to kick my brain awake. Yes, it sounds a little crazy, but then so is writing. The early exercise helps me get geared up so that I can focus on my novel.

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    • says

      A long time ago (in a very different life and time) I used to dance, and hearing comments like yours makes me want to take it up again… tap dancing at 6 a.m. sounds very cool!

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  30. Marilyn Slagel says

    My “other job” is medical transcribing. I work nights doing that. I desperately needed to hear this! Thanks so much.

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  31. Joanna Branson says

    Thank you for this timely post; it comes when I most need it! I’ve been a member of Weight Watchers for several months now and have my nutritional intake back on track, but it’s time to fit “moving and breathing” back into the picture. I KNOW it works and that I get much more writing and working done when I’m active, but I need and appreciate hearing it from other working writers too.

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