Refilling the Well

So, I spent the last few days visiting family in various parts of the province. This included (a) about 8-10 hours (round trip) in the car, mostly staring out the window and living in my own head, and (b) spending a lot of time away from computers and close to water, rocks, trees, and good food.

Julia Cameron (in her book, The Artist’s Way) talks about “refilling the well”. As in: getting out, doing stuff that isn’t work-work-work, that is meant to top up the part of yourself where all those ideas actually come from.

The first time I tried working my way (ish) through The Artist’s Way, I aproached the well-refilling exercises (“Artist’s Dates”, where you take yourself Out and do something fun and interesting) with a whole slew of capital-R Rules. My Artist’s Dates couldn’t cost money. And they had to be intentionally solitary. And they couldn’t be something “frivolous” or “shallow” like going to Sephora and playing with all the makeup testers, or whatever[1]. Which, not surprisingly, meant that – once Winter hit and I could no-longer use a long, rambling walk as my weekly Artist’s Date – I stopped doing them pretty damn quick.

And, strictly speaking, I totally haven’t picked them back up again.
But every so often, I get the chance to do something like this. To get away from the laptop and, somewhat more to the point, away from my email (hoy…) and… it really has a noticeable effect. As in: I wrote a short story today, and it flowed, and made sense, and wasn’t full of hideous, lumpy, clunky bits, and it was acutally good. Other times when I’ve done something like this, the result has been a poem or a new jewelry collection, but regardless. I’m noticing a pattern.

So now I’m wondering if, possibly, I should make a point of having no-computer days, or something. Maybe a bit like Cathrynne M. Valente’s Abbey Nights. Or my sweetie and I will just start hitting up a museum every Thursday or something.

Either way, I think I need to start taking time away from the email with enough frequency that I can maybe (in theory) get my writing groove back.

I was saying to my sweetie, earlier this evening, that I miss the ease of writing that I had back when I was in such an emotionally awful situation that writing stories was literally the only option I had for speaking about, and dealing with, the stuff that was going on.
I don’t at all miss the situation.
But I miss the stories and the ease with-which they came out of me.
So the goal is to find a (sustainable) means of getting that flow back, without having the rest of my life got to, er, pot.

Anyway. That’s where I’m at just now.

TTFN,
Meliad the Birch Maiden.

[1] Miss Sugar has a thing or two to say about glamour, and why it actually matters. When I start feeling like I’m being shallow (or similar) because I care about visual presentation and/or sensual experiences, I go and read her blog. 🙂

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