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You ain’t gonna miss your water until your well runs dry

Perhaps it’s the unusually warm and dry weather we’ve had this summer or perhaps my muse is taking an extended vacation, but my creative well dried up a few months ago and refuses to replenish itself. I occasionally drop my bucket into the well hoping for inspiration and ideas and bring back an empty, dusty bucket. The same old ideas seem contrite and overdone and the new ideas are a distant mirage in a hot, dry desert.

Earlier this summer, when I pulled up the last drop of creativity from my well, I wrote about putting together a creative automat to use during times like these. I have actually been trying to put mine together but I can’t seem to find anything that truly speaks to me. I’ve toured antique shops and craft stores and come up empty handed. After a particularly frustrating moment in a craft store, I realized I had no plan for my automat, I just wanted one. I had no idea what I wanted it to look like or how I planned on using it.

I recently took advantage of a slow lunch hour and made a list of what I wanted out of my automat. From there, I turned it into a real place and put it on a corner in Greenwich Village. I described the patrons – who they are, what they did there and what they wanted. I painted the walls, selected the music and made plans to serve my patrons delicious food with fresh Stumptown coffee for only a nickel. My automat is open 24 hours and can be picked up and moved around the world whenever I need a change of scenery.

Turning my automat into a “real” place helped me develop a better plan to get around my creative road blocks (or paint them pink with silver glitter). As my list grew, the ideas flowed and I was able to make a list of writing topics and future blog posts. Perhaps maybe my creative well wasn’t completely dry; it just needed direction to nearest ocean.

What about you, Gentle Reader? How do you replenish your creative well when it runs dry and the ideas just don’t seem to be flowing?


About Anna Alexander

I get ideas. I write things. I sometimes follow through with those ideas. I also run long distances and live in the Pacific Northwest with my husband cat who lets us pay the mortgage on his house.

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