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Writing life: Food for thought

Don’t let festive overindulgence leave you feeling creatively sluggish. Simon Whaley explores how diet can influence our creativity.

There’s no such thing as writer’s block. For those of us in this business of writing, we can’t afford the luxury of writer’s block. That’s what I’ve always told creative writing students and budding writers. But recently, I’ve been hit by a range of health symptoms, including extreme tiredness, memory problems and a brain fog. There were times when I couldn’t think straight, if at all. I’d sit down at my desk and stare at a blank screen, wondering what to do. I didn’t know where to start, or what to write. Then, one thought kept circulating in my mind. After years of denying its existence, could I have writer’s block?

No. After several blood tests and investigations I was diagnosed with a food intolerance. Within a week of eliminating that food-type from my diet my energy levels returned and the brain fog disappeared. Clarity ruled once again. I could think. I could write.

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About Writing Magazine

• STAR INTERVIEW WITH LEE CHILD, the multi-million selling creator of the Jack Reacher novels • Writing wisdom from the great Greek thinkers – rules that have stood the test of time • How to make your historical fiction stand out, and top tips on the genre from author Nicola Cornick • Study the short story masters to learn the art of the unreliable narrator • The magazine sleuth - how every magazine tells you exactly what its editor needs

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