Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Filling the Well

Sooooooooooooooo sorry for not blogging yesterday--I'm still struggling to catch up from being gone last week at the retreat.

And I had big plans to write a brilliant, inspiring, fabulous post for today (okay, fine, it was going to be random and rambly, whatevs). But then a friend of mine told me there was a red tide and that that I needed to drop everything and get myself to the beach--stat. And you know what? She was RIGHT!

These pictures really don't do it justice, but they give you a small idea of what it's like to see the ocean glowing red and flashing neon green and blue with each wave.

Truly, truly breathtaking. And so worth the drive. (the pictures SO don't do it justice, but it was the best I could do). But, it meant I didn't have time to put together a proper post for you guys today. It also meant I lost a whole evening of writing time--and I'm already a little behind on where I need to be.

But... I actually think there's a lesson there too. 

I am a BIG believer in pushing yourself hard and setting deadlines and sticking to them. But I also believe in "filling the well." If you never get out and experience anything, how will you find things to write about?

I may never write a scene with phosphorescent waves crashing against the shore. But watching them definitely inspired me. So really, I think it comes down to balance. Working hard and refining your craft and doing the butt-in-chair method is only part of it. You have to stop, and let yourself soak up life. And sometimes I forget that.

So I thought I'd pass that little reminder on to you. Push yourselves hard to get where you want to be. But don't forget to take some time for yourself too. Otherwise you might be missing out on amazing, inspiring things!


  1. Great advice. Hard work is a must in success. Taking time for yourself is also so important.

  2. So. What causes a red tide? That's totally cool.

  3. Used to love red tide when it came up the beach. Ours usually hit around late August.

    Yeah, filling the well. I do it every Sunday morning when I do my shopping. I love watching people in the stores. Of course, I have to check out what's in their carts and figure out why they're buying it. Instant flash fiction.

  4. Wow, those pictures are gorgeous! I can't imagine what it must have been like to be standing there. Love the lesson you learned from it! I'm a big believer in filling the well. :)

  5. Ooh I forget that, too. Sometimes life ends up feeling like too much of a distraction (ha!) when I'm really deep in a project.

  6. Man oh man,, so true! Glad you got out there, filled the well and shared the pics with us. Enjoy the rest o' your day!

  7. Looks like your camera is an even crappier POS than mine.

  8. Awesome advice and exactly what I've been thinking about all morning long!!

    We have to get out there to experience life so we can come back and "write what we know". If we don't "know" life, how can we translate it into words?

    I've always wanted to see a red tide. Sounds fascinating!

    Happy Wednesday,

  9. I haven't seen a red tide since college--makes me miss SoCal! Thanks for this post. I need it. I REALLY don't feel like writing today, but with my deadline I need to. Am thinking about taking a little time off tomorrow though to recharge.

  10. I haven't seen a red tide since college--makes me miss SoCal. Thanks for this post, I need it. I REALLY don't feel like writing today--but with my deadline I need to. Am now thinking about taking some time off tomorrow morning to recharge.

  11. Such an awesome post, Shannon! After all, if we don't take time off to live, how can we accurately write about others living?

  12. Neat! You're reminding me it's been too long since I've had some time to decompress and relax. My well is running dry. ;)

    Glad you had a great time on the retreat!

  13. That's very cool! Something to put on my Things-I-Must-See list.

    And totally agree with you about "filling the well." What a great phrase for it!

  14. You have to stop, and let yourself soak up life.

    Sometimes I forget that too. Thanks for the reminder. :)

  15. This is something we probably need to remember more often. I'm so glad you dropped everything and went to the beach, #1. Good call. :-)


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