Filling the Well Redux

photo-2

For ten days, I unplugged from the electronic world. It is one of the best ways I know to “fill the well” — everyone gets depleted, and that includes creative types who love their work. Sometimes I just need to stop the normal routine and do something completely new. I came back with a fresh perspective and within hours accomplished more than I had the previous month. Yes! The book is going to galleys, finally:)

There I am on Puget Sound, 2000 miles from home, taking in the new and releasing the old. That was a week ago. Today I found the following post from 2003 (!) and thought it expressed just what I wanted to write about today. Circumstances have changed, but the idea remains the same:

Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way is one of my favorite all-time writing books. I use her suggestions and ideas constantly in my own writing life. One of the most convenient is the notion of “filling the well.” Until I heard Cameron explain it, I never realized that creativity was something to be nurtured, something that needed care and cultivation. I simply assumed that there was a never ending supply and that when I started to feel uninspired and cranky it was because my muse was pissed off about something I’d written.

She was pissed all right, but not in the way I believed. In truth, she wanted a break. She needed to fill the well. Happily, my muse fills the well by doing the sort of fun things I like to do when I’m not writing. She likes going on vacation, getting away from the four walls of the writing room. She likes a shake up in the routine, which should always include wild dancing and fine wine. Also friends, lovers, artist dates, good food, many laughs.

All of which I am happy to oblige her with…

This weekend, I had a fabulous couple of days with two dear friends, Kris and Ann. Ann’s lovely sister lent us her cottage on an island in the middle of Lake Erie. Since it’s pre-season, the island was only pleasantly populated with boaters out for a good time instead of it’s high summer packed party people atmosphere. We brought plenty of wine and chocolate and ate our meals out. We talked until all hours as the candles flickered down. We slept late and read our novels over coffee in the morning. On Saturday, we danced the afternoon away to an awesome cover band called New Decade. All weekend we were wild and free and my muse was in alt.

It’s always good to get home, however. Rusty missed me and Al has vacation all this week. He’s got projects around the house and I’ve offered to help with painting the garage. In the meantime, we’ve been hanging out, listening to music, sleeping late, having our own fun. Yesterday I talked him into going out to lunch, and then for dinner we fired up the barbecue. The weather’s been so fine here in Michigan. My daffodils are in bloom. Life is so very good. All of this as a way of saying I won’t be doing much writing this week. I’ll be too busy accomodating my muse by filling the well.