Good morning, and happy Monday!

Think about how you feel when your writing is going well. You're excited. You're full of energy. You can't get the words down fast enough. We call it a CREATIVE HIGH.

So what's going on? There are actually endorphins, the body's natural feel-good chemical, floating around. The excitement generated by a new idea can release endorphins. (So can chocolate and exercise.)

Now, think about how you feel when your writing is going badly. You feel sleepy. Lethargic. Your mind is sludge. You probably couldn't find an endorphin if somebody put an ear tag on it.

SOLUTION: If you're having one of those sludgy days, don't just keep sitting there zoned out in front of the computer screen. Don't give in to the refrigerator or watching Dr. Phil. Get off your butt and go for a walk or get on the stair stepper. Move fast enough that you're a little out of breath. Health professionals recommend 30 minutes at least four times a week. But if you stick it out for 45 minutes, your endorphins will kick in.

These are the same endorphins that come from a creative high, and they are actually as powerful as morphine in relieving pain. So it becomes a chicken-and-egg story. A burst of creativity releases endorphins. But if you put the endorphins into your system by another means, like exercise, it can lead to a burst of creativity.

Now go sit in front of the computer again. You'll be amazed how inspired you've suddenly become, and the effect can last for up to four hours. If you build regular exercise into your schedule and do it every day, or almost every day, you can permanently speed up your metabolism, which means your mind will be more alert all the time.

Tomorrow we'll talk more about exercise.