The past few days I've been doing a lot of catching up. With friends. With books. With movies.

Some call it filling the well. I can see why. It's hard to come up with new ideas or feel motivated or have the courage to put words on the page when the well is dry. Especially the inkwell.

Yes, I have a fantabulous new novel I'm working on. Yes, I even have what could be called an outline, if you want to get all technical about it. Still, I need more than the voices in my head to make me feel prepared enough to sit at the computer and get the words out.

Sometimes they don't want to play. And that usually means they're not cooked yet.

Raw words aren't as tasty as the well done ones. ;)

So what's a person with an empty well to do?

1. Read. Even when the books you're reading are so much better than anything you could ever dream to write. Even when you try to study the words to see what you can learn from them and instead you find yourself on the floor in a fetal position.

2. Watch movies. I've watched three in the past four days: I Am Number Four, Easy A and The King's Speech. Yes, a wild mix. All good (or excellent) for their own reasons, such as use of hairography in action scenes; clever dialogue; and showing goal, motivation and conflict so well that it makes me weep just thinking about it.

3. Hang out with friends. Laughter is essential to a healthy lifestyle, even more so than chocolate. Being able to compare notes on our lives, our loves and the whole "is this where we should be at in our master plan" discussion helps open up the world for me. People have hobbies besides reading and seeing movies? Who knew?

But filling the well shouldn't be a once-in-a-while occurrence. For it to be really effective, we should practise it often. Like on days that end with "day".

How 'bout you? How do you fill the well?

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