I am sitting trying to write and my mind is a blank. I am arranging a new song, but the sound isn’t right, it isn’t working. I don’t know why the sound, or the melody or the rhythm is wrong. I am creating the header image for a website, yet the design doesn’t even look like a doodle, less than a squiggle – not even the ravings of a mad man.
In the corner of my journal/planner, I write ‘running on empty’. To add to the metaphor – and that’s ok as long as it isn’t mixed – my creative well has run dry.
What to do when the creative well runs dry?
You can keep going. You can keep digging and push through. It might work, it can work. There may simply be a barrier that needs crossing. But set a time limit. There is no point digging after a certain time. If there is nothing deeper to find, you need to look somewhere else.
Let the water table return
Stop trying to create and wait. Take a break, a creative holiday. Do something different. A well relies on the water table, on an aquifer, on the natural state of things. A break is often the best or only thing to do.
Find a new well
It might be time to board up and leave the current well. It might be time to move on. There is plenty of inspiration out there, it may be time to seek another source. This is similar to taking a break but more proactive. As one well dries so another well springs forth.
I spent most of last year digging deeper, in an attempt to eke out every last drop. That wasn’t very eco or minimalist of me. And I could only keep digging for so long. I am taking a little break this week, and already things are beginning to come together. But that’s also due to finding a few new wells of inspiration. Adding clarity to my goals has helped a lot. Knowing where to dig is often the key.
May your creative wells provide for you.
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