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Refilling the Well

October 10, 2011

The blank space on my October blog calendar looms and I ask myself what I have been doing in terms of my writing. Because I have not been writing—much.

For me that’s unusual, but I have been doing something that I think might be important for all of us creative types. It’s called refilling the well, and the expression seems to fit. Somewhere in the groundwater that is my subconscious, there seems to be a need to recover from the constant turmoil that is the writing process. Between morning words, plot creation, character building, revising, and critiquing— all activities that seem to demand that I reach deep inside myself to find my own reactions and my own story, hidden though it may be, I always seem to find enough raw material there to keep going. I am constantly amazed to discover what is down there, but also fearful that one day I may go to the well and find it dry.

Running the well dry is not an option for me, as I’ve spent too much of my life not writing. But it does become overwhelming at times to think that, if I want to keep writing, I need to come up with new raw material every single day.

Thus, I indulge in unwinding these tensions by simply not attempting to create at all. For a week, it was enough to simply enjoy the limitless sky above my head, contemplate the unknowable depths of the water below, breathe in the salty air and let it penetrate into the pores of my skin. Sometimes it is enough to simply be alive.

(Photograph courtesy of me, and the San Juan Islands, Washington USA)

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