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Friday, August 23, 2013

Feeding Your Creative Spirit—Are You Filling the Well or Draining it Dry? by Edie Melson

I’ve had a crazy few months. Between writing deadlines, family crisis’ and summer craziness, I’m running on empty. But I don’t have time to lay out for a couple of weeks and recover. There are still more commitments and deadlines looming in the near future.

So how do I keep going and find a way to feed my creative spirit? I do a little inventory and then get my schedule down to the basics.

The first thing I’m dealing with is mental fatigue. My mind is like a muscled that’s been overworked. It needs time to recuperate. To give it the time it needs, I’ll be watching the clock while I’m working and taking frequent breaks during the day. I’ll wander around my yard, have lunch with a friend, or just sit and enjoy a TV show.

Next on my list of issues is a disrupted routine. Many of you know I keep a pretty regular schedule. I have to, I’m too easily distracted as it is. A schedule helps me focus and stay productive. But the past few months my schedule has consisted of sitting in front of the computer for twelve to fourteen hours a day, seven days a week. No one can sustain that kind of workload for any length of time.

So I’ll become very rigid with my schedule (including the break times). This will help me stay on track, even as I give myself time to recuperate. My writing time will be shorter and my breaks a little longer.

The third thing I’m going to address in my life is nourishment for my creative spirit.  I need something to rekindle that creative that’s burned so low in my soul.
  • I’ll be spending more time reading—for pleasure. I may try a new author, or revisit an old favorite. I plan to go where my whims lead me. NOTHING from my to-do reading list allowed!
  • I’ll be doing some things that spark my creativity, like jewelry making or knitting. Something creative, but not something I do for money. Just opportunities that encourage my imagination to soar.
  • I’ll be going to the movies. This gives me the opportunity to immerse myself in worlds that other creative geniuses have imagined and most important, much-needed time with my husband and with friends
  • Finally, I’ll be finding a time for a short vacation. It may only be a one-day trip into the mountains or a local park, but my husband and I need the unplugged time with just each other as our focus.  

Now I’d love to hear from you. How do you refill and refresh your creative spirit? Share your suggestions in the comments section so we can all learn from each other.

Edie Melson is the author of four books, as well as a freelance editor with years of experience in the publishing industry. Her popular blog, The Write Conversation, reaches thousands of writers each month, and she’s the co-director of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference. Her bestselling ebook on social media has just been updated and re-released as Connections: Social Media & Networking Techniques for Writers. She’s the Social Media Mentor at My Book Therapy and the social media director for Southern Writers Magazine. You can connect with Edie through Twitter and Facebook.


  1. Well, I tend to need water to refresh my body and soul, so I like long walks along the edge of the ocean.

    I also like dusty old book stores. Getting harder and harder to find them these days. I always feel like a treasure hunter when I'm roaming their isles - hoping to find that book that's been looking for me! What is that saying? That which you are seeking is seeking you! Oh, yes. :)

  2. I have a townhouse that faces the sun during the morning. I have made a routine of going outside and sitting in the sun with a cup of coffee. I have some pet chickens which I watch, also a small garden that I admire. I suppose it's not quite as hard for me, as I have chronic fatigue, and cannot do more than a few hours at a time. Some days I take my laptop outside and work in the sunshine. I find it very therapeutic. Maybe a garden would be a good escape for you too. It's a great place to just stop and listen to nature, or talk to God. Geoff Wright. Australia

  3. Hi Edie, your post resonates with me. Having lived 'on empty' for years I now work with women to help them put their own needs on the agenda. Self-nurture concept still arouses mixed responses yet we can't go on pouring out from an empty well...Times of solitude, walks along the beach, reading, collaging, pondering while hands busy gardening...these are some of the things that keep my well topped up.Thank you for your post.
    Clara :)


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