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I haven’t written a word since before Labor Day. It’s been more than four weeks since I’ve made the time to create amid the chaos of wedding planning, learning a new job and moving into a new house. For a writer to go a prolonged period without writing is like an athlete not training for a month. I feel like my words are dull; out of shape.

I also think my absence from creative work is taking a toll on me physically and psychologically. I’m stressed, moody, irritable, exhausted. I’m drained and feeling depressed.

I truly believe that not writing contributed to my foul mood and maybe even the nasty cold I got a few weeks ago. A 2005 study found a link between writing for 15-20 minutes a day a few times a month and decreased levels of stress and illness — even improved blood pressure.

Without my usual release through writing, my emotions and frustrations are bottled up, dammed like a river and threatening to overflow. It was making me morose and physically sick. I need the safety valve of my writing. It doesn’t matter if it’s a blog, a short story, a play; I need to exercise my creative muscles. I need to vent the stress of life onto pages.

Just like an athlete needs to make time to hit the treadmill, I need time to devote my mind to the practice of fiction. The muscles of my subconscious need to recover from a long month of atrophy before I start to feel like myself again. It will take time to build up the discipline I once had, but I will get there, one sentence at a time, to a place where both my stories and I can thrive.

— 30 —

Jonny Eberle is a writer in Tacoma, WA. How do you schedule time in the day for your passions. Leave you comments below or tweet him at @jonnyeberle. Thanks for reading!

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