Fill the Tank

by Gabriela Pereira
published in Writing

Writing can be hard sometimes, especially when our creative tank has run dry and we’re relying on fumes to reach our destination.  The solution?

Fill the tank.

When it comes to creativity, one of the best ways to fill the tank is to have a little fun.  Julia Cameron of The Artist’s Way fame, advocates taking weekly “artist dates” where you “fill the well” and replenish your ideas.  In DIY MFA, filling the tank is a similar concept.  Sometimes you just have to let your brain idle for a little bit to let your ideas incubate.  In the meantime, you gather ideas, images or anything else that sparks your creativity and put it in your Idea Tank for safe-keeping until it’s time to use them.

Weekend Prompt:

This weekend, take some time (at the very least a half-hour) to do something whimsical and fun.  Think of it as a play-date with your inner-writer.  Go somewhere and do something you truly enjoy.  At the end of the play-date, try to collect at least one one souvenir from the experience and put it in your Idea Tank.  That way, when you need a boost, that souvenir can remind you of that whimsical experience and help fuel your writing.


• Go to a movie and save the ticket stub.
• Visit a museum and buy a postcard of something that really resonated with you.
• Shop at a flea market, the dollar store or a thrift store with no more than a few dollars in your pocket.
• Take a hike or nature walk and snap a photo or two.
…and the list goes on.

There is only one rule:

No fair doing work during your “play-date” and calling it “fun” (even if your work is something fun and something you love, like writing).  The point of filling the tank is to get your mind away from work, even if only for a short while.

Now tell me: what do you plan to do to fill the tank this weekend?

I haven’t decided yet but will let you know as soon as I have.  Happy trails!

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