Refilling the creative well
In case you were wondering, I didn’t join NaNoWriMo after all.
Too many things have been happening on the personal and family front, so I decided to be kind to my mental health and not put extra pressures on myself.
Although, there’s a catch there too.
Because if I force myself to write, I get stressed. But if I don’t get myself to write, I feel even more stressed. It’s like something within me needs to create, and if I don’t heed that call, I die a little on the inside.
Do you feel the same?
Well. I’ve just got myself a beautiful bright orange Moleskine notebook. (I know, I know, I’ve got too many notebooks and buying notebooks is not the same thing as actually writing but let’s not kill the mood now.)
And I’m starting to scribble down ideas and notes for the story brewing in my mind. Hopefully, that takes me somewhere.
At the same time, I’m trying to refill my creative well.
I work as a copywriter in my day job, so I do a lot of writing. By the time my work day finishes, I feel absolutely drained.
Multiply that by months, and add on all the other personal stuff that’s been happening = you get one very drained Nat.
I believe that’s why I feel uninspired, unmotivated, unhappy, and all the sad-sounding un words.
So I need to refill my creative well.
How? Reading, of course, is one of the obvious ways. But sometimes, reading alone is not enough.
And that’s when I know it’s time to watch some TV. Listen to songs. Go for a walk (or stare out of the window). Find inspiration in nature. Listen to podcasts and interviews with authors/actors/other creatives. Watch silly videos on YouTube to get a good laugh (very important!).
Rest. Sleep. Indulge in foods that make me happy.
I’ve also heard that another effective way to refill your well is to create another form of art than you normally do. So if you’re primarily a writer, try painting or sculpting. If you’re normally a long-form fiction writer, try writing haikus.
Or perhaps, take a short course to improve your craft or learn something new.
How do you fill your creative well?
I’ve finished Anxious People.
While I enjoyed it, my favourite Fredrik Backman book is still A Man Called Ove. Which surprised me, because: 1) there was no romance in it; 2) the main protagonist is an old man.
I’m not being ageist here. It’s just not the usual protagonist I’d lean towards and easily feel connected to. I tend to gravitate towards books about females either in their teens or young adulthood—or who’s a mother.
But lean towards and feel connected to Ove I did.
It’s been a few years since I read the book, so I cannot remember what happens exactly in the story.
But I do remember the feeling I had while reading and when I finished the book: warm and fuzzy in my heart. Tears in my eyes. Smile on my lips.
And I cannot recommend the book enough.
(I’ve also since enjoyed a few other books with older protagonists, such as The Thursday Murder Club, and The Switch.)
Other bits and pieces
They’re making a movie based on A Man Called Ove! It’s been renamed to A Man Called Otto—starring Tom Hanks ❤️ I can’t wait to watch it.
I haven’t done any painting last week. But here’s one of my favourite artists on YouTube with her watercolour painting process.
To end this week’s newsletter, here’s a quote to encourage you:
If I waited for perfection, I would never write a word. - Margaret Atwood