Utne Blogs > Literature

Writer's Block? Try Runner's High

 by Julie Hanus

Tags: creative process, exercise, health, A View from the Loft, John Schaidler,

joggers.Freelance writing can be detrimental to your health: “There were deadlines to be met, revisions to be made, clients to be satisfied,” explains John Schaidler in the May-June 2008 issue of A View from the Loft (article not available online). “And the only way to do that, as they say, was to apply ‘seat of the pants to seat of the chair.’ ”

After a stern warning from his doctor, however, Schaidler put on the old running shoes—and promptly discovered that exercise can be as beneficial to the creative process as it is to the body. “I turned and ran back home, my brain buzzing with ideas. I shot through the door, went straight to my desk, and wrote for an hour. It was bliss. At least, it was, until I tried to stand and immediately crumpled to the floor, my legs crippled by lactic acid.”

Schaidler doesn’t claim to be the first creative type to discover the mind-sharpening benefits of sweatin’ to the oldies, just an enthusiastic convert. “Evidence says even the most basic exercise program, even walking, will boost your creativity and provide direct benefits to your work,” he writes.

Image by Scott Ableman, licensed under Creative Commons.