Refilling the Well

Carousel Socks in Progress by Caro Kinkead
The writing’s been going well this week, but Saturday morning found me oddly out of sorts. Got up late and when I settled down to write, the mind wouldn’t focus and I found myself staring at the blinking cursor, my mind a complete bank.

Part of it was the fact the weather was steamy and, as Cole Porter so eloquently put it, too darn hot. But another part of it was the fact that I’d had a rough week at the day job and a couple of family things demanding attention while I’d kept up the writing. The mythical muse hadn’t gone on a quickie vacation to the Bahamas (or the much-cooler climes of Scotland); the plain, simple fact was that the well was dry at that moment.

Yes, a working writer needs to write even when you’re not in the mood and the words for the day haven’t been produced, but seeing as it was a Saturday, I took much of the day off, relaxed on the couch to help fight the headache that had arrived with the heat and knit. Turner Classics was running in the background (yesterday’s star was Freddie Bartholomew), and I allowed myself time to be lost in the pleasure of knitting. I’m currently working on a pair of Carousel Socks that are constructed by knitting a continuous strip, then adding the heel and the toe. The yarn is Picnic Blanket, with was one of the June Sock Yarnista Club choices from Three Irish Girls.

Now, I’ll confess that the June choices for the club didn’t thrill me at first and I picked this skein because the other one was way too pink cotton candy for me. I had no idea what I was going to do with it, figuring it would linger in my stash until I decided to offer it up for sale. Then I saw the Carousel pattern and knew it was perfect. What originally looked like a hot mess I wouldn’t ever want to use is slowly being shaped into something unique and interesting that will be a joy when it’s finished.

I was able to get words done yesterday, enough to fill my daily minimums, though hardly at the level I’d been managing during the week. I didn’t mind, though. Despite the lingering headache, I felt better because I’d taken that time to do something just for myself and just for the fun of it. It doesn’t matter what we’re trying to achieve in our lives, be it writing a novel, starting a new business, moving up the corporate ladder, creating a warm and loving home for our family, or whatever something else completely, there comes the moment when we have to stop, even if it’s just for a little while, and focus completely on ourselves. The better care you take of yourself, the more you make certain the creative/emotional well is filled, the better you’ll do in whatever your goal is.

How are you going to take care of yourself this week? What’s going to help you fill that well?