Refilling Your Creative Well

Photo by Kiera O’Brien

December is here, with all the holiday stress and busyness, and that’s on top of the past two years of the pandemic.  If you’re like many of us, you feel exhausted, burnt out, and are having a hard time finding the energy or excitement for sewing and creating. We want to talk about some things that we do-that you can do-to refill the well of creative energy when it’s running dry.

I first read about refilling your well in the book The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron. She talks about the what happens if you keep draining yourself, without ever putting anything back in. You wind up feeling that you have no ideas, no enthusiasm, and no energy to create.

Forcing yourself to try to create when you feel this way only makes things worse! Take a break. No deadlines or have-tos. Instead, do some things that fill you with a sense of peace or happiness, things that will revive that excitement and spark for making and creating.

Be Sew Creative staff shared some favorite take-a-break activities!

Photo by Kiera O’Brien

Get Outside

Getting outside, away from your sewing workroom, can be a big help! Puttering around your yard, taking walks, going to a park, or just sitting out on your porch, can all make you feel relaxed and peaceful.

Sharon loves to ride her bike in the evening, especially when she can enjoy a beautiful New Mexico sunset.

Sitting out on her front porch, enjoying her rosebushes in peace and quiet, is something Sarah loves to do.

Becky is always ready to walk her dogs and play with them!

In for the Evening

When you’re in the house, do something that you enjoy that doesn’t involve any pressure to create or make. Catch up on your reading, put together some puzzles, see if that sourdough starter is still bubbling!

Becky and Kat both love to play casual games on their phones, like Solitaire or Homescapes.

Carla and Becky watch their favorite murder mysteries on tv. If you don’t care about whodunits, check out the Great British Bakeoff or the Great British Sewing Bee. Watch your favorite holiday movies, or those history documentaries you’ve been eyeing.

Reading magazines about quilting or sewing are great, as long as it’s making you feel excited, and not pressured to Have to Sew, instead of Want to Sew. Maybe you love to see quilts or garment sewing projects on Pinterest or Instagram-as long as it doesn’t add to feeling bad about what you’re not doing, enjoy it.

It’s the Little Things

Marsha’s Bulletin Board

Stop and notice the little things that make you happy. Are there pictures on your phone, or around your house, that make you smile whenever you really look at them? Go find them and enjoy those feelings.

Marsha loves to look at her office bulletin board, with its pictures of family and friends, drawings, and little odds and ends that have personal meaning to her.

Carla’s fridge has lots of coffee and travel magnets that make her happy.

If you don’t have your own private bulletin board, think about making a dream or vision board of your own. All you need is some foam board and pins or tape. Get pictures out of magazines, or download and print from the internet. Don’t try to make it perfect! Choose pictures of things you love, would like to try, favorite places. Anything that inspires you. There are lots of tips online about how to do this!

Replica of a Victorian naturalist’s viewing glass.

We hope this gives you some ideas about how to renew that creative energy, and get your spark back! Please share your thoughts and tips about this on our Facebook or Instagram.