By Jeanine Englert
If you are like me, there are times when you simply cannot write. It doesn’t matter if you have your favorite fuzzy socks on, with your favorite coffee in your favorite mug in hand, and have the perfect space and time set aside to claim some words. If my well is empty, the words will not happen. It took me many years to realize this was not me being lazy or undisciplined.
It took me a long time to realize it was a sign that my creativity well was empty. Bone dry. So dry, that if air hit it, dust would blow back up into my face.
I can thank the pandemic paired with a few back-to-back years of a stressful work environment to help me learn this lesson, but I finally did. So, I have created my Empty Well Emergency Kit, and I would encourage you to do the same. This is a bit different from my self-care list. Perhaps they sound the same, but to me they do different things.
For example, my self-care list helps me regroup and manage my health. I schedule a massage, I get back to my bedtime and wakeup routines, and I look at what I have been doing to sabotage my diet (and I mean what I eat here, not an actual weight loss diet) and sleep as they always go hand in hand for me and my health. I know I need to check-in with my self-care list when I start to get multiple migraines in a short period of time, have insomnia, or if my mind is racing with things on my “to do” list. You probably know your warning signs as well. And, if you aren’t sure, start to track it. You’ll soon discover patterns.
But, my Empty Well Emergency Kit is different. For example, the things that fill my creative well are things that jump start my imagination, my curiosity, and fire up my wacky idea center. This will vary wildly from person to person, but here are some of mine. Go somewhere new for a few hours, day, or a long weekend. Do new things, such as go to a new restaurant, walk my dogs on a different trail, or shop in a store I’ve never been to before. Unwind with a new show or movie. This may seem counterintuitive to some people, but watching new shows, movies, or even documentaries help me fill my well. While I am completely engrossed in another world, it allows my subconscious to whirl up some new ideas to store for later. The same can be said for reading. Setting aside an afternoon or getting back into a habit, such as reading before bed, helps me refill my well, too. And, finally, spending time with people that I love and that love and support me unconditionally. This is not going to a social function for me but getting together with close friends I haven’t seen in a while and having some bellyaching laughs. Or cuddling up with my husband and our pups under an enormous mound of blankets and watching an 80’s movie or one of our favorite shows smushed together on the couch.
So, in a nutshell, you ARE an artist. Take the time you need to create your own Empty Well Emergency Kit and refill your well of inspiration when you need to. This is as important as writing if you ask me, because without inspiration you can’t create those stories out of thin air, can you?
So, what is in your Empty Well Emergency Kit and how do you fill your well of inspiration? Feel free to drop a comment below! Until next time. . .
Jeanine Englert’s love affair with mysteries and romance began with Nancy Drew, Murder She Wrote, and her Grandmother’s bookshelves full of romance novels. She is a VIVIAN® and Golden Heart® Finalist as well as a Silver Falchion, Maggie, and Daphne du Maurier Award Winner in historical romance and mystery.
Her Scottish Highland historical and historical romantic suspense novels revolve around characters seeking self-acceptance and redemption. When she isn’t wrangling with her characters on the page, she can be found trying to convince her husband to watch her latest Masterpiece or BBC show obsession. She loves to talk about books, writing, her beloved rescue pups, as well as mysteries and romance with other readers. Visit her website at www.jeaninewrites.com.
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