On Feeding the Well

Bone RiverIn this last year, I have written the following: a historical fiction novel, a young-adult novel, short stories, blogs, social media posts, press releases, Q&As, promotional copy, and the odd letter. This may seem like a lot, but most of this stuff is the daily work of any professional writer. What they have in common is this: they all pull from the well that is my writers’ psyche. Sometimes, writing these things fills the well too. Writing novels and short stories, for example, means that I have to do research, and research almost always fills my head with more ideas. But more often, these things tend to deplete it.

Writing is not only my passion, but it is also my solace. Which means that as the stresses in my life increase, I retreat into a world of my own making. The more stressed out I am, the more time I spend in my office, writing.

The problem with that is that just as I need resources,  I forget to feed the well. I forget to look out the window and notice the way the sun slants across the yard. I forget to watch the dog rolling in ecstasy in the dirt because he’s found the perfect way to scratch an itch. I forget to listen to music, or watch the occasional TV, or read poetry, or magazines, or go to movies or go out with friends. I forget to hang around with my children. I forget to do the things that make life worth living, and what happens when there’s no life to write about? When the well is empty?

Writers write, yes, but what they write about is living, about all the emotions and troubles and stresses and joys that life holds. Which you can’t do if you’re not living it.

Take a break. Feed the well. Do the things you love: gardening or cooking or reading or going out with friends. It will remind you of why you are alive, and why you have chosen to write.

It will give you something to say.

Bone RiverMegan Chance is the critically acclaimed, award-winning author of several novels. The Best Reviews has said she writes “Fascinating historical fiction.” Her books have been chosen for the Borders Original Voices program and IndiBound’s Booksense. A former television news photographer with a BA from Western Washington University, Megan Chance lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and two daughters. Find her at: http://www.MeganChance.com.

Site: http://www.meganchance.com/

Twitter: www.twitter.com/MeganSChance

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Megan-Chance/116492864590

Blog: http://meganchance.livejournal.com

2 Comments

Filed under Inspirational, Megan Chance, Writing & Editing

2 responses to “On Feeding the Well

  1. Thanks Megan
    This is good advice. I also tend to “write to get away” but forget to fill the well. Then wonder why my writing is so dry, or why I’m suddenly so tired. It helps to stop and take a walk or play.

  2. Christine Word

    Hi Megan,
    I love synchronicity. I’m participating in an online “Inspirational Writing” class which involves meditation followed by writing in an altered state to gain insight on a question. Here is my first journal entry based on open intention for guidance:

    “The well within is dry. Let it be filled to overflowing. Then start what is desired…”

    Coming across your article so soon after, I just wanted to share. I second Janet’ s opinion – good advice. Thanks.

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