Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Refilling the Well

I am in a temporary lull in activity for my writing career. July 2nd was the last public promotion event for my new release, Deadly Currents, the first book in my new RM Outdoor Adventures mystery series starring whitewater river ranger Mandy Tanner. My critique group has finished reviewing the manuscript for Basketful of Trouble, the third book in my Claire Hanover gift basket designer mystery series, and I'm awaiting expert feedback on some scenes before I turn it into my literary agent for review. And, I'm awaiting a contract offer on the third book in the RM Outdoor Adventures series, Cataract Canyon.

I'm generating ideas for Cataract Canyon and throwing them into an outline file, but it's hard to get motivated to start writing it in earnest without a contract. My muse is dragging her heels, saying she needs a break. She's urging me to read some good books, watch a few good movies, try some new experiences, get outdoors and get some exercise, etc. The creative well was drying up and needed to be refilled. So, I've been doing just that. The posts prior to this one show some of what I've been doing: bottling bourbon at the Breckenridge Distillery and sliding down the longest tubing hill in the world. I've also tried some new hikes and bike rides.

I've been doing a lot of reading, as evidenced by my Goodreads postings, and I've seen some of the new blockbuster summer movie releases with my husband. He and I are busy preparing for our move to full-time living in our Breckenridge home, and I've been having some fun planning future travel adventures for us. Lastly, I've put myself on a diet and a daily exercise regimen to lose the weight I gained while traveling--and eating out--to promote Deadly Currents. So, when I do go back to spending long hours in my writing chair, hopefully I'll be in good physical condition for it!

I've learned not to force myself to write when my body and my muse tell me it's time to focus on other aspects of my life outside my writing life. It's time for the scales to balance in the other direction for a while. As I said, ideas are already clicking for Cataract Canyon, and I'm sure that when the contract offer comes, I'll be ready to plunge into that whitewater adventure. In the meantime, I'm soaking up fun experiences that will replenish my creative juices.

What do you do to refill the well when you feel depleted, mentally, emotionally, and/or physically? Take a vacation? Spend more time sleeping? Make some other kinds of changes in your life? I'd love to see what others do to refill their wells!


Jenny Maloney said...

You've been busting your tail on mysteries...may it'd be fun to just grab a pretty notebook and fill it with fragments of fairy tales or descriptions of shopping malls. Exercises just to stay loose and permission to write stuff no one'll see. It's important to remind yourself that writing is fun too, not just a deadline. =)

Though I'm a fan of reading and watching trashy books and movies for refilling...don't need to write all the time....

Beth Groundwater said...

Hi Jenny,
Great suggestion! Writing these blogs about my summer adventures have been a kind of break in my writing, too.

Cynthia said...

Congrats on the decision to refill the creative energy, Beth! Very smart.

I also think lots of long walks contrast the sitting-in-chair factor nicely. Especially with loud music on the iPod... ;)

Shannon Lawrence said...

I have to say that you always seem to be going full bore, but everyone needs a break! You leave me in awe of all you accomplish. For relaxing, sometimes it's fun to focus on a different muse, like photography. Otherwise, walks; hikes; some old movie fun and lots of reading!

Anonymous said...

Hey, Bethinator (she-who-no-one-can-STOP)!

I dream about having MORE TIME! ;-]

But I usually end up sleeping in, since I get up so early, otherwise reading, going to movies is big with me--I love movies--lately, blogging, but sometimes I think we just need to not do anything writing related. Seems like you get out a lot, so that shouldn't be a problem, there. Otherwise, I always say "Follow the Fall Line of your life," so, go where your energy takes ya!

Anonymous said...


Let's refill our wells and keep full of energy everyday.

karen millen