Has Your Well of Ideas Dried Up?

You sit down to write. Everything is ready to go. The computer is working. You have your beverage of choice - I love coffee - and for once there aren't any major distractions to keep you from writing.

But nothing comes. You feel like your ideas have all dried up and blown away. 

It's a terrible, empty feeling. You want to write. The stars have finally aligned so that you have time. Yet, try as you may...

parched cracked ground well run dry no ideas
  • your ideas feel bland
  • you can't come up with a single thing to write about
  • your mind is suspiciously quiet.

It happens

Our minds are like a well. Or a garden. If they are not properly primed and tended, the vast creative resources they contain will dry up and become like so much dust.

This can happen for any number of reasons:

  • stress
  • lack of down time
  • health issues
  • demands of life and work
  • you name it.

It leaves you feeling empty. The connection to your work, to your passion, feels distant or as though it never existed. 

In some cases, it shows up as anxiety when you sit down to write. Other times, it feels like exhaustion.

There's great news

Fortunately, you can refill your well. You can get your creative garden back into bloom. 

You see, your creativity is still there. It's just worn out. Tired. Overused. The saying that you can't pour from an empty cup is true. When you tap into a resource without replenishing it, it will run dry.

Creativity is easily revitalized. Let's look at a few ways to revive those dried up ideas.

Take time off

If you have been working nonstop on a project, or have spent several days pumping out material, you could be burning out. The key to prevent this is to take some time off.

Get away from your computer. Ignore email. 

Of course, especially if you write for a living, you can't just abandon ship without planning for it. But you can take the weekend off now and then. 

Binge watch a show. Take long walks. Whatever else you like to do other than write. Do it. Give yourself permission not to work for a while.

Self Care

Sometimes, we get so caught up in our work and our lives that we don't take proper care of us. 

Are you getting enough water? 

Are you eating enough? Eating the right foods?

Have you gotten enough sleep lately? 

Have you laughed? Cried? 

Our minds and bodies are closely linked. If you don't take care of your body, your mind will have a hard time functioning like it should. Be sure to spend time on self care.

Switch Things Up

Our ideas can begin to seem stale if we get stuck in a rut. 

If you've been doing the same things over and over for days or weeks, it's time to switch things up. Change your routine. 

  • You could write in a different spot for a day or two. 
  • Or you could shift your waking and sleeping times just to see what happens. 

Only you know what your rut looks like.

The problem with ruts is that you get stuck in them and no new experiences or information gets to you. How can you have clever new ideas or new points of view if you are always staring at the same four walls?

Play Around

Often, all you need is a different perspective. 

Get out and live life a bit. Do something different. Something new. Push your comfort zone.

Join a group, explore a new place, read a book that normally wouldn't appeal to you.

Play around for a while. With kids. With dogs. 

See a comedy show. Laugh. 

When you're done, take your dry, boring ideas and look at them from a new angle. Shine different lights on them. Toss them out and search for new ones. 

Whatever you do, have fun with it. 

Our wells of creativity and ideas do not have to run dry. We can keep them full. The key is to see the signs that they are running low and doing things to bring them back.

Now get out there and refill your well!

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