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July 12, 2009
Image via ecosan

In The Artist’s Way Julia Cameron talks about something called “filling the well”. All artistic endeavours draw heavily upon our artistic well. Each brushstroke, each paragraph, each performance is like pulling another bucket of nourishing water from the well.

Then one day, you drop the bucket down and instead of a splash, you hear a clunk. You’ve tapped the well for all it can give you. While you’ve been busy drawing on the well, you’ve done nothing to replenish the well.

That’s what it feels like at the moment for me. I have neglected to replenish my well, existing on the artistic equivalent of the deep groundwater, overtaxing it and myself.

There are a number of things that you can do to refill your artist’s well, and Julia Cameron’s book is effectively a twelve week course in water resource management for the artist. One method of replenishing a well not mentioned however is time – leave the well alone, stop drawing on it, let it fill back up.

But wait, you cry – if we’ve followed the metaphor correctly, wouldn’t that mean stopping writing altogether? Perhaps. But I think writers have different wells for different occasions, and it is one specific well that I’m thinking of letting lie fallow for a while. It is the well I draw on for inspiration for these articles.

And this is where you guys can help. I find that at the moment I can write when told what to write, but I’m finding it fiendishly difficult to come up with my own ideas. I know from looking at the webstats that we get a lot of hits daily, but only a handful of people leave comments. So either the majority of people are totally satisfied with what they’ve read and can add nothing further (which I doubt) or we’re not inspiring and challenging people enough.

I need your ideas for things to write about.

For some months now we’ve been trying to enhance the interactivity of the site with the readership, and the best way to do this is through the comments. So lets start writing about what you the readers want to read about. What am I not talking about, that you desperately want to read about? What areas do you think are being ignored that you want to see explored? This may be my column, but it’s your time I’m taking up expecting you to read this. That’s an obligation on me to provide something worthwhile to you.

So lets hear from you out there, the silent visitors. Let’s make this your site too. Talk to me.

The sun is shining in West London, and the rain may be holding off. Time to get out and start replenishing that well…
  1. Felicia Fredlund permalink
    July 19, 2009 6:18 pm

    I myself seems to have the problem of not wanting to begin to create. I have to force myself in front of the computer, take at least 1-2 hours of mindless nothingness to get enough focus gathered to start. It would be awesome if you could write about what you do in these kinds of situations.
    And since I’m very new to pursuing writing as a more serious course any basic stragegies you have for writing, like how you start and outline as Rob suggested, would be really helpful.
    Lately, you have been writing a lot of awesome articles. Look to the subjects there, maybe more can be explored? Who knows? Not me. 🙂
    I also want to add that this blog is awesome for feeling connected since you are so down to earth with how writing actually works. You are people, and I thank you for that.

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