Exerciseand the writer>>

Writingis a very sedentary occupation. Sad tosay, but I see an awful lot of obesity when I attend writers' conferences. And frankly, gaining weight is something Ihave to fight pretty hard, as I love to eat! (especially chocolate!)>>

Regularexercise and keeping weight down will enhance your physical health in sooooooomany ways. And I know it's hard. (I've recently gained about 10 pounds becauseI'm being treated for plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the tendons in thefeet, and I've been ordered not to walk excessively. Everything is suffering, including my moodand my writing!)>>

Anotherbenefit of exercising is that sometimes you'll get your best ideas whilerunning, swimming, or bike-riding. Ifyou push your plot problems aside and let your subconscious work on them whileyou smell the flowers and listen to the birds, your subconscious will oftenfind the solution for you. I've had themost fantastic book titles come to me out of the blue when I was focused onworking my body.>>

Ifyou don't want to run, swim or bicycle, you can simply walk the neighborhood.>>

Or,you might try YOGA. This is especiallygood if your mind is so filled with the problems of everyday life that yourstory can't wedge its way in there and your muses have moved to thesuburbs. Yoga has a way of quieting yourmind as you focus on stretching, balancing and breathing. Once your mind is quiet, your story has spaceto move right in.>>

Yogadoesn't have to mean you twist your body into a pretzel. The wonderful thing about Yoga is you onlyhave to stretch as far as is comfortable for you. All positions have modified versions forpeople just starting out. One position,called Corpse pose, is just what it sounds like. Completely relaxing.>>

Myhusband, who is a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, wanted me in particular to mentionmartial arts training, which combines strength training, aerobic fitness,flexibility, breathing and meditation all in one package. Trust me, he is one of the most relaxedpeople I know and he NEVER has writer's block.

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Tomorrow,we'll talk about meditation.>>