Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Well Running Dry?

We are dry here. Not really drought or empty water wells dry, but we are starting to hurt in this corner of Ohio. All the rain keeps going south of us.

I'm actually thankful for a good deep well at home, since I have ducklings that enjoy a daily bath and a garden that is twice the size as last year.

But as far as wells of creativity go, I've felt at the bottom of mine for quite a while. You will notice I haven't posted many personal thoughts here of late, which is a testament to my feeling that I don't have anything new or interesting to add to the blog world. So other things that I can't put off or ignore get what creativity I can scrap up.

So what do you do when the well runs dry? What do you do when that hits you while on book deadline?

Post some suggestions, and maybe you'll get the streams of my creativity flowing again.

Also feel free to post some questions for JoAnne or I to answer.


Carrie Turansky said...

When I feel like my creative well is running dry I like to take a walk and spend time outdoors. That's refreshing and reminds me God is a wonderful creator and my source of creativity.

Spending time with friends is helpful for me. It gives me balance and helps me get out of myself. Brainstorming with writer friends is great too. Reading a good book or watching a movie can also get the creative juices flowing.

I also keep a file of ideas for future stories. I save all kinds of articles from the paper or magazines about interesting people, places and occupations. Visiting the library and researching a location or time period is another way I find stories.

As far as questions....I'd love to hear more about your garden and your ducks. : )


DayleShockley said...

I can so relate, having been there many times--dry as a bone, with a deadline staring me down. I start by just beating my desk in desperation. This has yet to work, but I keep trying.

From there, I go to the kitchen and throw together a pile of nachos, or something equally nutritious, then head to a comfy place on the sofa to watch mindless television, hoping lightening will strike and the rain of inspiration will pour down upon me. This never works, but at least I'm no longer hungry.

By this time, it might be, oh, three in the morning, at which time I trudge back into my office, close the door and start writing the darn article. I'm out of options, and the deadline is the next day. I have no choice but to write... inspired or not.

Is this the life or what? Reminds me of a quote I saw somewhere. Can't remember who said it but it went something like this: Writing well is the hardest job in the world, except maybe alligator wrestling.

CatMom said...

Since I'm still fairly "new" to writing as a career, I'm always eager to find out how other writers revive their creative juices (liked Carrie's suggestions!). ~ And also, as Carrie mentioned...I too would love to hear more about your garden, ducks, and any other animals you have (cats, maybe? *grin*). ~ Blessings from Georgia, where it's already VERY WARM! Patti Jo :)

Janet Spaeth said...

Sunshine. Sleep. And water.

I find that if I'm running low on any of those, I feel it!

So, Becky, drink a glass of ice water, go out and lay or lie in the sun, and sleep. You'll feel much better (assuming you don't have a herd of bugs welcoming you).

Erica Vetsch said...

When I'm feeling low on creative juice, I try my hand at something creative that is non-writing related. Usually this is cross-stitch. There's something about the colors, the sameness of the tiny stitches, that releases something in my mind. I can let the story ideas percolate while doing something else for awhile. It almost always works.

Right now I'm crocheting a blanket. So I guess that works too. :) For me.

Linda Ford said...

It's hard when we feel dry. Sometimes, as has been pointed out, it can be physical. Too tired. Run down.

Other times it's spiritual and we need to find time alone with God.

But I find there are times when my creative well, as Julia Cameroon describes it, is simply drained. I like to refill it a number of ways. Colors, sights, sounds, books, etc. For instance, a visit to a quilt store lined with hundreds of colors and patterns of fabric is like a long drink of inspiration. A walk anywhere where I can see and enjoy naturs is wonderful. A visit to a museum or book store. There is nothing quite like seeing and smelling row after row of books.

And sometimes, for me, I can kick start myself by just writing something. Anything. Journalling is great. Michael Hauge is convinced writing for 15 min. a day will keep us creatively in shape.

Of course, your garden and animals can serve as healing downtime too.



Pepper Basham said...

Okay - my first idea may sound weird, but it really works for me. I watch a GREAT movie. Since I become completely absorbed in movies and love to write fiction, I also seem to feel inspired.
I also have five FAVORITE inspirational fiction books I read to rejuvenate my creative juices :-)
I like to read The Message Bible too - with its' rich paraphrase and colorful translations. Sometimes meditating on that while taking a walk really helps.

I'm stil fairly new to the writing world (as far as 'learning' about the craft of writing is concerned, but I've found that these things have really helped jumpstart me.

Many blessings,


Myra Johnson said...

I try really hard to start filling up the well again before it runs completely dry! A little book I'm reading right now for morning devotions has sparked some amazing insights. It's called I Will to You, by Rev. Herbert Brokering, one of the most creative and insightful people I've ever met.

Another way I work my way out of ruts is to read novels that are very different from my usual fare (women's fiction & romance). Like right now I'm reading a Clive Cussler adventure novel from my husband's book stack.

And sometimes the best thing to do is to just go shopping.

Debby Mayne said...

I do several things to keep my well from running dry:
-Read nonfiction
-Engage in a different creative endeavor, like beading, sewing, or ceramics
-Cook or bake something yummy--then eat it
-Stop writing altogether for a few days--even if a brilliant idea hits
-Go out to lunch alone and watch people
-Take a long walk in an interesting setting
-Watch game shows, like Jeopardy or Wheel of Fortune

Becky said...

It rained! My garden took a flying leap -- and so did the weeds. I'm still working on inspiration, but it's a new week.

dillydilly said...

Here's what works for me.
When I have writer's block, I force myself to sit down and write anyway. What I write is something like this: "I must complete by 3pm today all of the following:" and a list follows. I may even insert written accounts happenings of the past day or two, no matter how mundane. Then I start detailing the list and the "happenings". Then, I detail the details. Finally, I usually have come up with something workable. Thanks to computers vs. the old typewriter method, I can easily delete everything that will not work and then buff up what I think will work. There! I have met my deadline. Then I watch something really stupid and funny, like the reruns of Leave it to Beaver or I Love Lucy, and while half my mind plays with this, the other half is rejuvenating toward something new and more creative. This always works for me. (I think when I force myself to turn in a project just to meet a deadline, when I know the quality isn't my true best, it forces my creativity to get moving again. Just a theory...)
Oh, and by the way--it's dry here in Mississippi, too. There's been no rain in my community since May! We've reached 102 degrees several days. Gets you to thinking about Bible prophecy, huh?