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Julie Rowe | How Staying Creative Through the Bad Times Can Save Your Life

February 4, 2019

The last couple of years have been a challenge. 2016 saw a massive wildfire force the total evacuation of my home city (Fort McMurray, AB) for a month. Since then, I’ve had several family members become sick and/or pass away. It seemed like just when I thought things were going back to normal, some new horrible thing would happen. The stress was unrelenting and my creative output suffered as a result. Thankfully, I have an amazing editor who stuck with me, offered advice, and encouraged me to keep writing despite the often overwhelming grief I was mired in.

Writing Sleight of Hand, the latest release in my Outbreak Task Force series, probably saved my life for several reasons:

– It gave me an outlet for my grief and stress

– It was something positive to focus on

– I worked through some of my own trauma while my characters worked through theirs

– Daily writing meant keeping a schedule, setting goals, and feeling a sense of accomplishment

– Achieving a goal (creative or otherwise) releases dopamine in the brain (the happy chemical)

All of this reduced my stress level, which had a direct, positive, impact on my health by:

– Lowering my anxiety and elevating my mood

– Lowering my blood pressure

– Lowering my heart rate and respiration

– Lowering my tendency to stress eat

– Lowering my blood cortisol level (a stress hormone)

– Providing a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment

Along with writing, I’ve found a couple of new creative hobbies:


Exploding box cards

Not sure how to fit creativity into your life? Here are some tips to help you achieve the best results in fitting creativity in:

– Start simple: listening to music, coloring, or journaling can all provide a creative outlet

– Use your hands: not just to draw, but write, sculpt, make a card or scrapbook

– Give yourself the gift of time—just thirty minutes to an hour of creativity can lower your blood cortisol level

– Try new things—take an art class, go to a group paint-night, or check out new craft ideas at your nearest craft store

– Craft with friends—take that painting class with friends and create a masterpiece (or several) together

Have fun—no matter what you try, do something that makes you happy.


Outbreak Task Force Series #3

Sleight of Hand

CDC nurse Joy Oshiro is stressed to the breaking point. College
students are dying and no one knows why. And her new partner Dr.
Gunner Anderson is frustratingly annoying–and sexy, but mainly just
plain annoying–and proving difficult to avoid. He spent three years
with Doctors Without Borders, and disillusioned is just the tip of his

They’ll need to learn to trust one another if they have a chance at
figuring out who is behind the attacks. She makes him laugh, makes
him forget–for a little while. But each new clue keeps them one step
behind the terrorists, with buildings and evidence being destroyed just
as they near.

Now they’re in a race against time to not only find a cure but also to
avoid becoming the next targets themselves.

Romance Suspense | Romance Military [Entangled: Amara, On Sale: January 28, 2019, e-Book, ISBN: 9781640637245 / ]

About Julie Rowe

Julie Rowe

Julie Rowe’s first career as a medical lab technologist in Canada took her to
the North West Territories and northern Alberta, where she still resides. She
loves to include medical details in her romance novels, but admits she’ll never
be able to write about all her medical experiences because, “Fiction has to be
believable”. Julie writes romantic suspense and romantic military thrillers.

Biological Response Team | Outbreak Task Force


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