Ask A Wench–About Filling the Well

AAWGraphic  Pat here: It’s that time of the month when the wenches draw a question out of the question box and goof off. Today’s question comes from Keira Soleore who asks:  

What do (the wenches) do to refill the well of creativity? And how often do they do these things? How do they balance the mundane in their lives with the creative side?   

Thank you, Keira, and a copy of The Wicked Wyckerly is winging your way.

The first response coming to my mind is—my well needs filling? <G> I think my subconscious is connected to a natural spring that never stops flowing, threatening to drown me at times. Shutting off the spring so I can actually turn all those ideas into a book is the difficult part. That takes hard work and the wrong side of my brain. I’d much rather fill my computer with fairy tales that would probably never see the light of day if I didn’t edit them.
Aawstcharles

But on those occasions when I’ve fried my synapses on revising and editing, I take time off to read and garden or take walks through the zoo or botanical garden or maybe historic St Charles.  If I drive any  farther, I’m likely to unplug the spring just watching cornfields passing by! (That's St Charles in the photo)

Mary Jo responds:

I have the advantage of a short attention span, so even when I'm in my Most Serious Book Mode, I'm not all – that- focused.  When the book goes in–well, I Live Life.  Read more books, cook more, travel more.  (But none of those things entirely vanish from my life even when I'm crunching into a deadline.) 
 
I think a key to maintaining the well is the curious mind that just about all writers have.  It's seeing an item in the newspaper and googling for more information and ending up on unexpected websites.  (Pat notes—her IT husband calls this running down rabbit holes) It's looking at a catalog and seeing something like a reproduction gimmal ring
AawGimmel-ring and thinking, "I can use that in my next book." 
 
Really, the problem isn't keeping the well filled.  It's keeping it from overflowing. <G>

(Pat–Ha, and I wrote my paragraph before I even saw Mary Jo’s! So, maybe we’re both nuts.)

******

Joanna writes:


I'm going to be corny and say that when I'm feeling about as
creative as a medium-sized rock and I do not want to think about the writing
deadline that's looming up over the hill like a grinning Tyrannosaurus rex, I
take the dog for a walk in the woods.

No people.  Nothing but trees and the stream doing its stream thing to one
side and wild flowers and maybe a couple turkey buzzards circling in the sky,
wondering whether I'm going to keel over and provide them with a meal, hope
springing eternal.


Aawbourne
 So it is all very Eighteenth Century European Romantic Movement, except that I
don't have Byron and Shelley with me or even Johnny Depp.  I walk along
thinking, 'There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,' and poetry of that sort,
though if I were really in a pathless woods I'd actually be wondering how I was
going to get out of it, but the principle is there, if you see what I mean.

Nicola writes:

I have several tried and tested methods to help nurture creativity. One is to visit a historic house and simply absorb the atmosphere. I usually find that this gives me that tickle down the neck that I associate with coming alive to new ideas and plans. Similarly going to a museum or gallery can stimulate lots of story ideas and I soon find my notebook filling up again. The other thing I do is to take long walks in the country. I always think better outdoors – it's as though there are no limits on my imagination when I am outside. So my poor dog will just have settled down for a snooze and I'll be there in my walking boots, lead in hand, and he'll haul himself upright and we'll be off. As soon as I step outdoors I start to feel more inspired. I'll go for a AAWNicolawalk most days but balancing the mundane and the creative can be tricky. If I am absorbed in a book I'll tend to neglect the mundane which is why there will always be an enormous pile of ironing waiting for me at the end of a book!

Since I have several more lovely posts from wenches and I'm inundated with revisions and those ugly details that don't involve letting my mind roam wild, I'm going to continue this blog on Monday–Pat

50 thoughts on “Ask A Wench–About Filling the Well”

  1. What a lovely picture of you and Der Hund of der Oxfordshires! *g* Much as I love cats, they’re not much good for taking on walks.
    But–what is this “ironing” thing you mention? Some historical British tradition? Explain, please…. *g*

    Reply
  2. What a lovely picture of you and Der Hund of der Oxfordshires! *g* Much as I love cats, they’re not much good for taking on walks.
    But–what is this “ironing” thing you mention? Some historical British tradition? Explain, please…. *g*

    Reply
  3. What a lovely picture of you and Der Hund of der Oxfordshires! *g* Much as I love cats, they’re not much good for taking on walks.
    But–what is this “ironing” thing you mention? Some historical British tradition? Explain, please…. *g*

    Reply
  4. What a lovely picture of you and Der Hund of der Oxfordshires! *g* Much as I love cats, they’re not much good for taking on walks.
    But–what is this “ironing” thing you mention? Some historical British tradition? Explain, please…. *g*

    Reply
  5. What a lovely picture of you and Der Hund of der Oxfordshires! *g* Much as I love cats, they’re not much good for taking on walks.
    But–what is this “ironing” thing you mention? Some historical British tradition? Explain, please…. *g*

    Reply
  6. Sherrie, here. Pat, remember when people used to go for Sunday drives? Your comment about zoning out while driving past cornfields reminded me how rejuvenating a change of scenery can be. I think this is why writers enjoy travel-as-research so much. *g*
    And there are always individuals out there who as specialists in some obscure field, and whose eyes light up with enthusiasm when approached by a writer seeking research info on their specialty. I’ve found that research can not only be fascinating, but it also replenishes the well because it’s new and interesting.

    Reply
  7. Sherrie, here. Pat, remember when people used to go for Sunday drives? Your comment about zoning out while driving past cornfields reminded me how rejuvenating a change of scenery can be. I think this is why writers enjoy travel-as-research so much. *g*
    And there are always individuals out there who as specialists in some obscure field, and whose eyes light up with enthusiasm when approached by a writer seeking research info on their specialty. I’ve found that research can not only be fascinating, but it also replenishes the well because it’s new and interesting.

    Reply
  8. Sherrie, here. Pat, remember when people used to go for Sunday drives? Your comment about zoning out while driving past cornfields reminded me how rejuvenating a change of scenery can be. I think this is why writers enjoy travel-as-research so much. *g*
    And there are always individuals out there who as specialists in some obscure field, and whose eyes light up with enthusiasm when approached by a writer seeking research info on their specialty. I’ve found that research can not only be fascinating, but it also replenishes the well because it’s new and interesting.

    Reply
  9. Sherrie, here. Pat, remember when people used to go for Sunday drives? Your comment about zoning out while driving past cornfields reminded me how rejuvenating a change of scenery can be. I think this is why writers enjoy travel-as-research so much. *g*
    And there are always individuals out there who as specialists in some obscure field, and whose eyes light up with enthusiasm when approached by a writer seeking research info on their specialty. I’ve found that research can not only be fascinating, but it also replenishes the well because it’s new and interesting.

    Reply
  10. Sherrie, here. Pat, remember when people used to go for Sunday drives? Your comment about zoning out while driving past cornfields reminded me how rejuvenating a change of scenery can be. I think this is why writers enjoy travel-as-research so much. *g*
    And there are always individuals out there who as specialists in some obscure field, and whose eyes light up with enthusiasm when approached by a writer seeking research info on their specialty. I’ve found that research can not only be fascinating, but it also replenishes the well because it’s new and interesting.

    Reply
  11. Pat, thank you so much for choosing my request.
    Yes, to overflowing wells, Mary Jo. I have so much random stuff floating around my brain and hanging around my computer… “Rabbit holes” is the right word for it, Pat.
    And yet, all of you are saying that it’s OK, even good, to collect such random trivia (the better to bombard your dinner guests with) in the name of creativity.
    Nicola, I admire your ability to go for daily walks. We share the same weather, I hide inside, you stride outside. Perhaps I should acquire a dog?
    Ahem, re: well filling. *no comment*
    Nicola & MaryJo: Ironing?! I haven’t seen mine for the past two years or more (more, most likely). I buy mostly wrinkle-resistant clothes, or we all go about in ooh-la-la-wrinke-chic clothes.
    Sherrie & Pat: About zoning while driving… I recently re-read one of James Herriot’s books (he of Yorkshire vet fame). And in that he says that he’s done some of his best work during 1 am calls when he drove there, did the surgery, and drove back more than half aleep.

    Reply
  12. Pat, thank you so much for choosing my request.
    Yes, to overflowing wells, Mary Jo. I have so much random stuff floating around my brain and hanging around my computer… “Rabbit holes” is the right word for it, Pat.
    And yet, all of you are saying that it’s OK, even good, to collect such random trivia (the better to bombard your dinner guests with) in the name of creativity.
    Nicola, I admire your ability to go for daily walks. We share the same weather, I hide inside, you stride outside. Perhaps I should acquire a dog?
    Ahem, re: well filling. *no comment*
    Nicola & MaryJo: Ironing?! I haven’t seen mine for the past two years or more (more, most likely). I buy mostly wrinkle-resistant clothes, or we all go about in ooh-la-la-wrinke-chic clothes.
    Sherrie & Pat: About zoning while driving… I recently re-read one of James Herriot’s books (he of Yorkshire vet fame). And in that he says that he’s done some of his best work during 1 am calls when he drove there, did the surgery, and drove back more than half aleep.

    Reply
  13. Pat, thank you so much for choosing my request.
    Yes, to overflowing wells, Mary Jo. I have so much random stuff floating around my brain and hanging around my computer… “Rabbit holes” is the right word for it, Pat.
    And yet, all of you are saying that it’s OK, even good, to collect such random trivia (the better to bombard your dinner guests with) in the name of creativity.
    Nicola, I admire your ability to go for daily walks. We share the same weather, I hide inside, you stride outside. Perhaps I should acquire a dog?
    Ahem, re: well filling. *no comment*
    Nicola & MaryJo: Ironing?! I haven’t seen mine for the past two years or more (more, most likely). I buy mostly wrinkle-resistant clothes, or we all go about in ooh-la-la-wrinke-chic clothes.
    Sherrie & Pat: About zoning while driving… I recently re-read one of James Herriot’s books (he of Yorkshire vet fame). And in that he says that he’s done some of his best work during 1 am calls when he drove there, did the surgery, and drove back more than half aleep.

    Reply
  14. Pat, thank you so much for choosing my request.
    Yes, to overflowing wells, Mary Jo. I have so much random stuff floating around my brain and hanging around my computer… “Rabbit holes” is the right word for it, Pat.
    And yet, all of you are saying that it’s OK, even good, to collect such random trivia (the better to bombard your dinner guests with) in the name of creativity.
    Nicola, I admire your ability to go for daily walks. We share the same weather, I hide inside, you stride outside. Perhaps I should acquire a dog?
    Ahem, re: well filling. *no comment*
    Nicola & MaryJo: Ironing?! I haven’t seen mine for the past two years or more (more, most likely). I buy mostly wrinkle-resistant clothes, or we all go about in ooh-la-la-wrinke-chic clothes.
    Sherrie & Pat: About zoning while driving… I recently re-read one of James Herriot’s books (he of Yorkshire vet fame). And in that he says that he’s done some of his best work during 1 am calls when he drove there, did the surgery, and drove back more than half aleep.

    Reply
  15. Pat, thank you so much for choosing my request.
    Yes, to overflowing wells, Mary Jo. I have so much random stuff floating around my brain and hanging around my computer… “Rabbit holes” is the right word for it, Pat.
    And yet, all of you are saying that it’s OK, even good, to collect such random trivia (the better to bombard your dinner guests with) in the name of creativity.
    Nicola, I admire your ability to go for daily walks. We share the same weather, I hide inside, you stride outside. Perhaps I should acquire a dog?
    Ahem, re: well filling. *no comment*
    Nicola & MaryJo: Ironing?! I haven’t seen mine for the past two years or more (more, most likely). I buy mostly wrinkle-resistant clothes, or we all go about in ooh-la-la-wrinke-chic clothes.
    Sherrie & Pat: About zoning while driving… I recently re-read one of James Herriot’s books (he of Yorkshire vet fame). And in that he says that he’s done some of his best work during 1 am calls when he drove there, did the surgery, and drove back more than half aleep.

    Reply
  16. I’ve always adored Sunday drives. Too bad gas prices have taken them out of the picture these days. But traveling is always excellent–a chance to observer other people, time away from duties, kick back, listen to music, read… I love traveling.
    But I’m learning to despise airplanes!

    Reply
  17. I’ve always adored Sunday drives. Too bad gas prices have taken them out of the picture these days. But traveling is always excellent–a chance to observer other people, time away from duties, kick back, listen to music, read… I love traveling.
    But I’m learning to despise airplanes!

    Reply
  18. I’ve always adored Sunday drives. Too bad gas prices have taken them out of the picture these days. But traveling is always excellent–a chance to observer other people, time away from duties, kick back, listen to music, read… I love traveling.
    But I’m learning to despise airplanes!

    Reply
  19. I’ve always adored Sunday drives. Too bad gas prices have taken them out of the picture these days. But traveling is always excellent–a chance to observer other people, time away from duties, kick back, listen to music, read… I love traveling.
    But I’m learning to despise airplanes!

    Reply
  20. I’ve always adored Sunday drives. Too bad gas prices have taken them out of the picture these days. But traveling is always excellent–a chance to observer other people, time away from duties, kick back, listen to music, read… I love traveling.
    But I’m learning to despise airplanes!

    Reply
  21. Oh, I do know what you mean by falling down rabbit holes — it’s so true. I can lose hours without realizing.
    I try and get by with as little ironing as possible, but a writer friend of mine says she finds it soothing to iron and dream up stories. I keep offering to send her my ironing and help her in her career, but strangely, she keeps turning down my incredibly generous offer.
    Keira, a dog will ensure you walk daily. It’s wonderful, really — even on days when I am really not in the mood to leave the nice warm house (or nice cool house) to go for a walk in the freezing (or roasting) air, my dog guilts me into it, and afterward I’m so glad.

    Reply
  22. Oh, I do know what you mean by falling down rabbit holes — it’s so true. I can lose hours without realizing.
    I try and get by with as little ironing as possible, but a writer friend of mine says she finds it soothing to iron and dream up stories. I keep offering to send her my ironing and help her in her career, but strangely, she keeps turning down my incredibly generous offer.
    Keira, a dog will ensure you walk daily. It’s wonderful, really — even on days when I am really not in the mood to leave the nice warm house (or nice cool house) to go for a walk in the freezing (or roasting) air, my dog guilts me into it, and afterward I’m so glad.

    Reply
  23. Oh, I do know what you mean by falling down rabbit holes — it’s so true. I can lose hours without realizing.
    I try and get by with as little ironing as possible, but a writer friend of mine says she finds it soothing to iron and dream up stories. I keep offering to send her my ironing and help her in her career, but strangely, she keeps turning down my incredibly generous offer.
    Keira, a dog will ensure you walk daily. It’s wonderful, really — even on days when I am really not in the mood to leave the nice warm house (or nice cool house) to go for a walk in the freezing (or roasting) air, my dog guilts me into it, and afterward I’m so glad.

    Reply
  24. Oh, I do know what you mean by falling down rabbit holes — it’s so true. I can lose hours without realizing.
    I try and get by with as little ironing as possible, but a writer friend of mine says she finds it soothing to iron and dream up stories. I keep offering to send her my ironing and help her in her career, but strangely, she keeps turning down my incredibly generous offer.
    Keira, a dog will ensure you walk daily. It’s wonderful, really — even on days when I am really not in the mood to leave the nice warm house (or nice cool house) to go for a walk in the freezing (or roasting) air, my dog guilts me into it, and afterward I’m so glad.

    Reply
  25. Oh, I do know what you mean by falling down rabbit holes — it’s so true. I can lose hours without realizing.
    I try and get by with as little ironing as possible, but a writer friend of mine says she finds it soothing to iron and dream up stories. I keep offering to send her my ironing and help her in her career, but strangely, she keeps turning down my incredibly generous offer.
    Keira, a dog will ensure you walk daily. It’s wonderful, really — even on days when I am really not in the mood to leave the nice warm house (or nice cool house) to go for a walk in the freezing (or roasting) air, my dog guilts me into it, and afterward I’m so glad.

    Reply
  26. If loads of curiosity were what it took to be a writer, I’d certainly rate. If I permitted myself, I could do research all day.
    But what I’m lacking is creativity and imagination. I never hear voices arguing with me, at least others than my own. I could rewrite someone else’s book–but create my own? Non.
    And you must all have a great sense of satisfaction when you reach the end of a book, though I’m sure the edits will still loom. Whatever, viva the creative minds which give us such wonderful glimpses of life and love in days gone by.

    Reply
  27. If loads of curiosity were what it took to be a writer, I’d certainly rate. If I permitted myself, I could do research all day.
    But what I’m lacking is creativity and imagination. I never hear voices arguing with me, at least others than my own. I could rewrite someone else’s book–but create my own? Non.
    And you must all have a great sense of satisfaction when you reach the end of a book, though I’m sure the edits will still loom. Whatever, viva the creative minds which give us such wonderful glimpses of life and love in days gone by.

    Reply
  28. If loads of curiosity were what it took to be a writer, I’d certainly rate. If I permitted myself, I could do research all day.
    But what I’m lacking is creativity and imagination. I never hear voices arguing with me, at least others than my own. I could rewrite someone else’s book–but create my own? Non.
    And you must all have a great sense of satisfaction when you reach the end of a book, though I’m sure the edits will still loom. Whatever, viva the creative minds which give us such wonderful glimpses of life and love in days gone by.

    Reply
  29. If loads of curiosity were what it took to be a writer, I’d certainly rate. If I permitted myself, I could do research all day.
    But what I’m lacking is creativity and imagination. I never hear voices arguing with me, at least others than my own. I could rewrite someone else’s book–but create my own? Non.
    And you must all have a great sense of satisfaction when you reach the end of a book, though I’m sure the edits will still loom. Whatever, viva the creative minds which give us such wonderful glimpses of life and love in days gone by.

    Reply
  30. If loads of curiosity were what it took to be a writer, I’d certainly rate. If I permitted myself, I could do research all day.
    But what I’m lacking is creativity and imagination. I never hear voices arguing with me, at least others than my own. I could rewrite someone else’s book–but create my own? Non.
    And you must all have a great sense of satisfaction when you reach the end of a book, though I’m sure the edits will still loom. Whatever, viva the creative minds which give us such wonderful glimpses of life and love in days gone by.

    Reply
  31. And reading Joanna’s post as well as Nicola’s it’s clear that dogs are very good for refilling wells (and chasing rabbits down holes, too) Lovely pics of both dogs, too.

    Reply
  32. And reading Joanna’s post as well as Nicola’s it’s clear that dogs are very good for refilling wells (and chasing rabbits down holes, too) Lovely pics of both dogs, too.

    Reply
  33. And reading Joanna’s post as well as Nicola’s it’s clear that dogs are very good for refilling wells (and chasing rabbits down holes, too) Lovely pics of both dogs, too.

    Reply
  34. And reading Joanna’s post as well as Nicola’s it’s clear that dogs are very good for refilling wells (and chasing rabbits down holes, too) Lovely pics of both dogs, too.

    Reply
  35. And reading Joanna’s post as well as Nicola’s it’s clear that dogs are very good for refilling wells (and chasing rabbits down holes, too) Lovely pics of both dogs, too.

    Reply
  36. I think dogs are probably preferable for chasing down rabbit holes and at least exercise is involved, but here, it would mean going outside in the misery, so I resist dogs, rabbits, and exercise.

    Reply
  37. I think dogs are probably preferable for chasing down rabbit holes and at least exercise is involved, but here, it would mean going outside in the misery, so I resist dogs, rabbits, and exercise.

    Reply
  38. I think dogs are probably preferable for chasing down rabbit holes and at least exercise is involved, but here, it would mean going outside in the misery, so I resist dogs, rabbits, and exercise.

    Reply
  39. I think dogs are probably preferable for chasing down rabbit holes and at least exercise is involved, but here, it would mean going outside in the misery, so I resist dogs, rabbits, and exercise.

    Reply
  40. I think dogs are probably preferable for chasing down rabbit holes and at least exercise is involved, but here, it would mean going outside in the misery, so I resist dogs, rabbits, and exercise.

    Reply
  41. There is something comfortinag about dogs. They believe in you without reservation.
    Cats, not so much. Cats are more Keep-you-on-your-toes sort animals.
    Mine is always walking in and sneering at me and saying, “You haven’t finished that scene YET? What is the MATTER with you?”

    Reply
  42. There is something comfortinag about dogs. They believe in you without reservation.
    Cats, not so much. Cats are more Keep-you-on-your-toes sort animals.
    Mine is always walking in and sneering at me and saying, “You haven’t finished that scene YET? What is the MATTER with you?”

    Reply
  43. There is something comfortinag about dogs. They believe in you without reservation.
    Cats, not so much. Cats are more Keep-you-on-your-toes sort animals.
    Mine is always walking in and sneering at me and saying, “You haven’t finished that scene YET? What is the MATTER with you?”

    Reply
  44. There is something comfortinag about dogs. They believe in you without reservation.
    Cats, not so much. Cats are more Keep-you-on-your-toes sort animals.
    Mine is always walking in and sneering at me and saying, “You haven’t finished that scene YET? What is the MATTER with you?”

    Reply
  45. There is something comfortinag about dogs. They believe in you without reservation.
    Cats, not so much. Cats are more Keep-you-on-your-toes sort animals.
    Mine is always walking in and sneering at me and saying, “You haven’t finished that scene YET? What is the MATTER with you?”

    Reply
  46. Joanna, I think your cat is probably not giving you a second thought, while you imagine her engaged so much in condescending to you. Heh.
    Anne & Joanna, the dog’s bladder is such a good prod to go outside. He doesn’t have a choice, and neither do you.

    Reply
  47. Joanna, I think your cat is probably not giving you a second thought, while you imagine her engaged so much in condescending to you. Heh.
    Anne & Joanna, the dog’s bladder is such a good prod to go outside. He doesn’t have a choice, and neither do you.

    Reply
  48. Joanna, I think your cat is probably not giving you a second thought, while you imagine her engaged so much in condescending to you. Heh.
    Anne & Joanna, the dog’s bladder is such a good prod to go outside. He doesn’t have a choice, and neither do you.

    Reply
  49. Joanna, I think your cat is probably not giving you a second thought, while you imagine her engaged so much in condescending to you. Heh.
    Anne & Joanna, the dog’s bladder is such a good prod to go outside. He doesn’t have a choice, and neither do you.

    Reply
  50. Joanna, I think your cat is probably not giving you a second thought, while you imagine her engaged so much in condescending to you. Heh.
    Anne & Joanna, the dog’s bladder is such a good prod to go outside. He doesn’t have a choice, and neither do you.

    Reply

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