This round of posts is about how to fill our creative well when it seems to have run dry. Honestly, I always have ideas. They come from everywhere, from books or the internet or the evening news. I'm always hearing things that strike me as something interesting that needs further investigation. But sometimes my droughts occur in the middle of a project. I've started with a great idea and I know where I'm going. But you still have to come up with stuff for Chapter Thirteen or Fourteen that might not be totally covered in the very detailed synopsis. Which means I do have to try and fill the well midstream. Not an easy thing to do. Ever. So what do I do?
Well, I take a break and read. Sometimes being able to see how another author filled the gap between two parts will give me an idea of how I can do it, too.
I've been running a lot this winter. Luckily, the weather has been insanely mild and, except for a handful of days on the treadmill at the gym, I've been able to use the high school track nearly every day. I walk a half mile there, run my laps, then walk home. And there's something about the fresh air that helps me think, because I've done a lot of well-filling at the track the past few months.
Another thing that helped me this winter was all the Skypes I've done with middle schools. They have all been Q and A's about The Compound. And it's amazing how someone's questions can spur the mind and open new doors I never thought were there, especially since my current project is the sequel to The Compound. I realize it's a gift to be able to interact directly with my core audience.
Whatever helps to keep that well from running dry...