Refilling the Creative Well

Drawing of a lightbulb surrounded by a rainbow of progress bars

Image licensed from Depositphotos. Copyright: Tatyana Yamshanova

This morning I listened to a podcast about how writers can replenish their creative energy. This was in reference both to the creativity needed to come up with new story ideas and the creativity needed to run an author business.

My usual way of refilling my creative well is reading fiction. Since the pandemic struck I’ve become even pickier about which books I’ll finish reading. I need a strong, sympathetic protagonist. A plot with interesting conflict, but nothing too dark. I need to come away feeling hopeful, not depressed or angry over the protagonist’s questionable choices.

Another way I tickle my creativity is to play a puzzle game. Or listen to a game show podcast.

Taking walks also helps replenish me. Since I do the same route every workday on my lunch break, on the weekends I change up my walks so that I'm getting new stimuli. Of course, the wildlife is never exactly the same. I see a few of the same people, but today there might be a lot of people walking dogs and tomorrow there might be more bike riders. By noticing the changes, I keep my senses stimulated, which helps my creativity.

If I feel too much in a rut, I’ll change up my daily routine. Drive a different route to the office. Mix up what I’m having to eat. Listen to new music. Anything to encourage my brain to stretch.

Creativity isn’t limited to writers. Playful, innovative energy helps us solve problems. It makes life fun. And fun makes life’s challenges more bearable.

So how about you? How do you refill your creative well?