What to Do With a Dry Well

Have you ever felt like you have nothing left to give? Unless you are a special kind of super-human, you probably have. Everybody has been to that place where things feel dried up. Whether its over-extending or just the demands of every day life, we are all going to come to the place of the dry well.

The well is the place where ideas, creativity, and energy resides. Its the place we go to when we need to solve problems, and its the same place that we go to when we want to create something. Pretty much every thing we do uses water from the well to some extent. So, without a good rain or a transference of some sort, its not a matter of if the well will run dry. It is a matter of when the well will run dry.

I’m going through a dry spell right now. I sit here in front of a computer screen forcing myself to write. It is because I want to get better at writing, and I myself don’t want to be stuck at this dry well. I also want you to know that if you’re at a dry well right now, then you aren’t alone.

Here are things that I know I need to do when my well runs dry. I don’t do them very well, so it runs dry more than I’d like –

  1. Read – Reading is an important activity because you are reading someone else’s thoughts, ideas, and wisdom. Even a fiction book has a great idea behind it that makes the characters grow. It also forces us to look at our own ideas and ask critical questions. Questions like, “What do I think about this? What do I believe? Why do I believe or think that?” I don’t agree with everything that I read, however reading gets me thinking outside of myself.
  2. Rest – Sometimes, we just need a break. We aren’t meant to go, go, go, and then go some more. You probably read about the idea of “resting” a lot on this blog. That is because I don’t think I’m very good at it. I want to be good at it. I want to learn to rest in a way that helps fill my well back up before its complete dry.
  3. Talk about it – That’s what I’m doing right now – talking about it. When we talk to others about where we are, we often find that we aren’t alone. There is someone out there that is going through the very exact same thing that we are, and that someone is usually not very far away. Get coffee with a friend and talk about feeling dried up. Maybe they will also have some ideas and help you find a way to fill it up again.
  4. Give yourself grace – Another reason my well dries up is because I think that everything I do has to be good. I don’t necessarily think it has to be perfect, but I think it has to be good. The truth of the matter is that just isn’t the case. To get good at something, you have to fail. We didn’t all just start walking and talking the first day that we were born. We cried, rolled, crawled, stumbled, and then finally we could walk while speaking gibberish. Eventually, that gibberish becomes words. The funny thing is, when we are going through this developmental process we didn’t consider ourselves as failures. We were just learning. Somewhere along the line, I associated the learning process with failing. That’s where grace comes in. We have to give ourselves grace if we are going to learn from our stumbling.

I hope this helps. Its helped me. What helps you when you experience a dry well? What fills you up? Are you experiencing one right now?

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