Thursday, July 17, 2014

Filling the Dry Well

It’s been a while since my last post. I’ve been taking a breather and getting some space in my expectations. I think writers, at least this one, need space from the responsibilities of either writing or promoting. A vacation from the writing business.

When I overdo on anything, I get sort of nauseous. Then I know it's time to back off and regroup. I am not afraid to stop everything to do this. Promotion be damned. The pressure is always on to write, write, write. And then, promote, promote, promote. But sometimes that is the last thing needed by this writer. To put pressure on myself when I need a break is to further dam up my energy.

So, in May, I went to the ocean. I took several days and planted myself alone in an environment that fed and healed my soul. I was grateful to have that time and that place. I was housed in the midst of trees and animals in the woods of Pacific Grove, California. 

I watched deer walk by my window most days, squirrels play in the dirt and chase each other around the trees and ravens greet me loudly each day when I stepped outside. Sometimes leading the way, sometimes dogging my heels.

A short stroll along the walkway built over the ecological area to preserve the native plants from damage took me right to the ocean.

I people-watched, climbed over rocks to the tide pools, noting anemone and birds while collecting shells and pretty bits of things like a bird.

I observed the various bird tracks on the sand in early morning before people waded through destroying the poetic visual. And noted the waves and change of tides over the span of those few days

I laid back on the warm sand, eyes closed while running my fingers through the grains and taking in the warmth of the sun on a hazy, cool afternoon.

Poetry ran through my head. Writing ideas flitted through my mind. But I just let them slide by, knowing they would come back to visit when I was ready to write again.

I drank coffee in the misty, foggy mornings while seated on the leather couch inside the lodge, reading stories on my Kindle.

Warmed by a blazing fire the staff kept stoked all morning, I jotted down notes of the trip and ideas for stories to come.

One story has since evolved into a flash fiction piece in Sirens Call Publication e-zine, called Night Lover, an erotic horror story which was a new genre for me in their Crypto theme. It is free to download at the site.

I also came up with an idea for a past-life short story, more in my genre, and eventually entered it to the SLO Nightwriters contest, themed: Déjà vu. (I'm waiting until the end of July to find out what happens with that one)

So if you find yourself blocked, stuck, dry, barren, depleted, blank—i.e. writer’s block, then try a change of place. A place where you can notice the details around you that you miss in your everyday life. The fresh perspective is effective in filling your dry writing well.

Does a change of place appeal to you? Work to fill your well?