I can’t remember where I first heard about ‘refilling the well’, but I do remember that it resonated right away.
Refilling the well refers to taking time away from writing to people watch, do other hobbies, read books, and anything else that inspires you. Fill up a few pages of the notebook you carry with you. Talk to people. Travel. Be inspired and take it all in.
As much as it may sound easy and not all that important, I have learned my lesson in how important it can really be…
I finished the last half of Fading Echoes (about 60,000 words) in about three weeks. I went from completing that to completing a number of papers for school and then on to the rewrites/edits for Fading Echoes. It didn’t occur to me to stop for a while to relax.
My well was near empty, though, and I couldn’t stay sitting in front of the computer for long no matter how hard I tried.
That is, until I remembered to refill the well.
I gave myself permission to relax. I took hot baths, I started reading a book, and I even got into a few computer games. I went out, I took care of other chores, and I even worked outside. A lot.
While a week of rest didn’t fully refill the well, it started things rolling. I started feeling a lot better, and I even got a few ideas for improving the novel.
So the next time you berate yourself for not sitting down and getting your writing done, ask yourself: is my well empty?