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An Empty Well

August 17, 2010

From time to time we’ve spoken of the need for an author to keep their creative well filled. But try as we might, it is inevitable that from time to time, the well will run dry.

Mine is dry. As dry as a bone laying in the dessert in the middle of a drought. I haven’t been able to write for quite some time. That goes for fiction, as well as posts on my own blog. Even the posts on this blog have been more difficult than I would prefer.

There are reasons for my drought. But whenever one of us goes through a period of Writer’s Block, there are always reasons. And they’re not excuses, but if I use them to allow myself to quit writing they’ll become excuses.

But I’m tired of running on an empty tank. It’s time to refill that creative well. I’m tired of staring at the blank page (screen, actually) with nothing to say. I’m tired of banging my head against my desk for 2 hours just to revise 200 words. I’m tired of letting my blog lie fallow.

So I’m going to toss this out to our readers: What do you do when you need to recharge your creative batteries?

  1. mcconnella permalink
    August 17, 2010 5:57 pm

    Well I’m not a writer at all so my advice may not be sound. I do find myself at the bottom of the creative well feeling uninspired and bored freqently. How I get out of the well takes two things. #1 Patience. Wait it out and tell yourself it’s okay to slack off. Sometimes you need a break. #2 Do a few slightly ridiculous things that you wouldn’t normally do. Last year I made friends with a homeless man who hangs out near my workplace. Last week I asked a stranger on a date while waiting in line at a coffee shop. Once I took a bath in my clothing just to see what it was like. It could be as simple as changing your daily routine and doing things in a different order. Anything that makes you feel slightly anxious, nervous or uncomfortable in some way can work. I find it helps to take my brain off cruise control and puts me back in the drivers seat. Good luck!

  2. August 17, 2010 8:23 pm

    I see lots of people go out into life and experience a plot. I read within my genre. Lots and lots of books. Sometimes their creativity inspires me. Sometimes their idiocy does–like, I can do better than that! Either way, within a week or so, I’m back.

  3. August 18, 2010 6:58 am

    I knit. The more I concentrate on my knitting with the rational part of my brain, the more the random-thinking, creative part of my brain starts to rev its engine. It’s handy for helping the mind to mull over plot problems etc. without actively concentrating on them, but it’s also a way of letting my mind play with new ideas and notions without me stressing about ‘forcing’ them. Other repetitive tasks can do the same thing.

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