The Experience of the Empty Well (And What to Do About It)

About two weeks after we moved to Asheville, I melted down like a chocolate bar in a hot car.

As it turns out, following up moving across the country with four pets with another long-distance road trip with your mother to visit your favorite aunt in her new room at the dementia lockdown facility is a teensy bit stressful.

The day after I returned from the second trip, I was making the bed with Stephanie. We’d planned to go grocery shopping I think, and I suddenly couldn’t face any of it. As I recall, I looked at her and said, “I just can’t,” and crawled back into bed, wailing.

I couldn’t go anywhere. I couldn’t do anything. She couldn’t do anything. Helpless, she and her mother left for their errands and I sobbed. When the tears ran out, I stared at the wall.

I felt sad and scared, but mostly, I felt empty.


Like nothing could ever bring me joy again. I didn’t want to write. I didn’t want to knit. I didn’t want to do anything.

So, I decided that I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t even move. Healing meant absolute rest, not touching a pen or a knitting needle or reading a book on either of my crafts. Napping, staring, long walks with the dogs, driving to unfamiliar places, and wandering the streets all became part of my routine. Once my body recovered from the exhaustion, I spent time filling that emptiness inside of me with the things that belonged there: inspiration, beauty, joy, love.

After a few days, I picked up my knitting needles again. A little while later, my pen revived its pathways.

While this wasn’t the only time this emptiness appeared, it was the loudest. And these experiences, those refillings of my well from the emptiest moments in my life, are what I’ve based the “Refill Your Creative Well Not-A-Challenge” on. We start with your physical self and then move into your spirit and your heart as we revive, refresh, and refill that creative well inside you.

If this story makes you say, “that sounds like me,” in any way, I invite you to join me for my free “Refill Your Creative Well Not-A-Challenge.”

We begin July 1st. Click here to sign up.