Thursday, October 1, 2015

Refilling the Well

 by Sparkle Abbey

It is finished! We turned in book 8, Raiders of the Lost Bark. Yay!

Once we turn in a book, the question we get asked most often is, “What’s next?”

Besides getting more than five hours of sleep a night?

We refill the creative well.

Writing is exhausting and primarily a solitary occupation. It’s easy to become isolated, spending months thinking, planning, plotting, writing, and rewriting. It requires a significant amount of mental energy to stay focused on a creative project for that long. Yet we only get better by practicing our craft, which means more writing.

By constantly writing, we drain our creativity. At some point we have to give our minds a break. So how do we give back to that source we’ve so thoroughly drained for months?

Well, after a quick celebration with margaritas (you knew that was coming, right?), we begin to take a short mental break from the work and make “refilling the creative well” our main focus. Since we don’t have a beach close by we have to come up with other ideas.

First we reintroduce ourselves to our families who have probably only seen the backside of our heads for weeks. Then we may catch up on all the TV shows our families have recorded for us. Read the books that have been stacked on our nightstands or added to our Kindles while we were on deadline. We try to catch a movie or two, and make a concerted effort to restart our exercise plan of daily yoga and walking. If possible, we’ll attend a writing related workshop or conference. If we had hobbies, we’d probably take them up again after neglecting them for months. 
Our favorite way to refill the well is to spend time with our family and friends. We laugh, make new memories, and experience the world through the eyes of our grandchildren. Is there anything better than that? We don’t think so either.

Then after a couple of weeks, once we’ve caught up on housework, social media, and paying the bills we re-evaluate our goals. We prioritize. Refocus on the steps needed to take us further in our writing journey.

And then we start the madness all over again, because writing is our passion.

What about you? How do you refill your well?

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  1. Some people don't realize we have to take some time and fill that well, plot the next book! Our down time is still writing time!

    1. Sally, you're so right. We're still working during down. Even if it's evesdroppin on the conversation behind us while we're waiting in line at Target!

  2. I wish I could say that my inbetween books time was merely stretch is months....but the main thing is....I DO begin again. I know when my dreams get way weird (they are always plain weird) that is time for me to write again, the next books that is...I am always writing one thing or another. Yes, it is what we do. Great quote from George Orwell by the way!

  3. Good grief! what a day. Some how I managed to delete our comment!

    Everyones time off between books is different, but what's important is that once we refill, we get back to work. :) How wonderful that your dreams tell you when it's time to start on the new story! We've been known to have some crazy dreams, too. Some day we'll have to compare!

  4. I work in spurts with days of vegging anyway. But that down time is a reading time. That brings me back to writing. Looking forward to reading your newest book.