How is your writing going this week? Are you taking at least a few minutes a day to sit down and be with your passion? I had some great days off and was able to take all the time I needed to continue with the revisions, sure I could have spent a little more time on the work, but I did enjoy the beach, spending time with friends and just enjoying having Saturday off to experience some of the great events that happen right outside my door. I mean literally, the annual TD Art Gallery Paint in was on my street and I walked out of the front entrance and there was three amazing artists displaying their work for the hundreds of people who walked by, this was three artists out of over a hundred and fifty artists. It was fantastic! These are the moments to embrace and have that balance with yourself. I did tell myself that I would spend two hours outside then I would need to spend two hours on the writing. I committed to my promise and sat down and worked on revisions for two hours and after the two-hour mark I was eager to keep going, so I did and it felt great to be in the moment with the work which felt nothing like work at all.
When it was time to stop writing it was only because we were hosting a BBQ and I needed to start getting things prepared. I had a good day of balance with the writing and everything else in-between. Then on my two days off I spend most of it working on my manuscript or preparing for a new story, or submitting a story to a call. I made time to run errands and also take the time to relax, recharge and fill the artists well.
What Julia Cameron says about Filling the Well and Stocking the Pond:
Art is an image-using system. In order to create, we draw from our inner well. This inner well, an artistic reservoir, is ideally like a well-stocked trout pond. We’ve got big fish, little fish, fat, fish, skinny fish – an abundance of artistic fish to fry. As artists, we must realize that we have to maintain this artistic ecosystem. If you don’t give some attention to upkeep, our well is apt to become depleted, stagnate, or blocked. Any extended period of piece of work draw heavily on our artistic well. Overtapping the well, like overfishing the pond, leaves us with diminished resources. We fish in vain for the images we require. Our work dries up and we wonder why, “just when it was going so well.” The truth is that work can dry up because it is going so well.
I have experienced overtapping my artistic well, it was a really hard time for me. I thought I was the only who felt this way, desperate to find words, not wanting to write and when I did want to write, minutes after showing up to the page I walked away. I couldn’t figure it out. Then I realized that my well was dry. How do I get it filled again and how do I not let it happen again?
Filling the well involves the active pursuit of images to refresh our artistic reservoirs. Art is born in attention. Its midwife is detail. Art may seem to spring from pain, but perhaps that is because pain serves to focus our attention onto details(for instances, the excruciationly beautiful curve of a lost lover’s neck).
In filling the well, think magic. Think delight. Think fun. Do not think duty. Do what intrigues you, explore what interests you; think mystery, not mastery. A mystery draws us in, leads us on, lures us. (A duty may numb us out, turn us off, tune us out). In filling the well, follow your sense of mysterious, not your sense of what you should know more about. A mystery can be very simple: if I drive this road, not my usual road, what will I see? Changing a known route throws us into the now. We become refocused on the visible, visual world. Sighs leads to insight. ~ Julia Cameron
I love biking, walking or driving down a new street – new houses, new trees, new types of flowers to stop and smell. I try to do this at least once a week. If I am in a rut so is my life, so is my writing. I am aware of this now and I know what works to shake me out of the fog, and if I look into my well and it is empty then I go out and fill it up again. One of the things that fills my well is cooking. The whole experience of cooking helps me think about what I am doing; shapes, colors, mixing, stirring, watching the steam rise, bubbles form as the water boils; chopping a carrot is literally food for thought. Being focused is needed to fill the well.
We need to encounter our life experiences, not ignore them. ~ Julia Cameron
How do you relax, recharge and fill your artistic well? Are you giving time to your passion, yourself?
Until next time, keep on typing…