Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Replenishing your creative well

I think all writers get drained--no matter how prolific or talented.  No matter how hard they work to be balanced.  I believe that we all have a creative well.  Some of us have a really deep one, others...not so much.  I know that for me, when I don't give my well a chance to replenish, it's like swimming through mud to get to the ideas.

Some of the techniques I use are to step away from the keyboard.  That means unplug and unwind.  Don't think about email, blogs, newsletters, mailings--none of it.  Focus on doing something fun or relaxing, like watching an old, favorite movie or lounging around in your jammies all day reading someone else's books.

Exercise is also a good way to clear your mind.  Go to the gym, take a walk, ride your bike.  I also tackle things that have been bugging me but I haven't taken the time to handle--like cleaning out that junk drawer, rearranging the office, or purging the pantry.

It doesn't seem like any of these escapisms would improve your writing, but they do.  I am always amazed at how much more I accomplish when I come back to the keyboard after I've given my well a chance to replenish.

What do you do to replenish your creative well?

By the way, the last book in my Mists of Ireland series is due to hit bookstores in just two weeks.  Hope you're as excited about Haunting Embrace as I am!


Caris said...

Hi, Erin,
I always enjoy hearing about your process. When I hit a snag with my recent book (now finished!), I debated skipping a writer's meeting because I just had to get that snag figured out. But I chose to go to the meeting anyway BECAUSE I felt pretty sure that my sticking around the house and fretting over the snag wasn't going to do much good. So, I went to the meeting, had a wonderful time with fellow writers, went home smiling with my well replenished, and woke up the next day with that snag completely and magically figured out! It seems to be the kind of lesson that I have to learn over and over. Yeah, yeah, I know...I never said I wasn't dense! LOL!

Love the pics of wells, btw!


Erin Quinn said...

Hi Caris, I get charged by those meetings too. I remember once seeing an interview with a very famous author and she said she didn't like to gather with other writers. She felt that there's only so much creative energy out there and if everyone has their antennae out and tapping into it, it basically sucked the energy away. Obviously, I don't agree although certainly there are times....

Another story, another blog, ha ha.

Caris, we must get together. :)

Erin Quinn said...

Congrats on finishing that book, btw. Meant to add that in the last comment! :)

Caris said...

Hi, Erin,
Oh, that made me laugh...if everyone has their antennae out, the energy just gets sucked away!!! I suppose if you were always offering help to other writers, maybe that would be true. I confess I haven't belonged to a critique group for years and I now have a policy not to read author material because it does require a vast amount of energy. (Plus, I think I suck at offering helpful ideas!)

But our meetings are for the chapter, so I find myself energized. It's just a rich, supportive environment, where everyone comes together with a lot of good-will and good-intentions for moving the chapter forward. We don't really spend time solving writing or creative problems, although I did get to gripe about mine for a minute, everyone nodded and commiserated, then we moved on! Maybe that was the secret. No dwelling on the difficulties.

Anyway, if we can't get together, we can blog like this! Lol!

Now tell me what the exact release date is for HAUNTING EMBRACE and I'll snag a copy at Barnes & Noble.


LilMissMolly said...

Can't wait for Haunting Embrace!!! I'm so there at our local Barnes and Noble.

Author Kathryne Kennedy said...

I'm very excited about your new release, Erin! Can't wait to read it in book format! :}