How to Restock Your Overfished Pond

Lately, nothing has been profound about my profound journey, other than a profoundly deep and dark feeling of ennui–that soul-sucking weariness that makes every action an effort.

Have you been feeling that way? If you’re a person who creates anything, from a delicious meal to an inspiring blog post to a vibrant painting, chances are good that you too have had your share of dark days.

Rest easy. It’s unlikely that there is anything seriously wrong with you.

Please pop over to Leanne’s site, Cresting the Hill, to read the rest of my guest post. We can all do with a bit of restocking when we have overfished our ponds.

Join the tribe:


  1. Hi Karen – I’m so pleased to have you guest posting for me today. You always write such thoughtful and “profound” posts and today’s is no exception. Hopefully we’ll all figure out how to get our creative juices flowing more freely and that will be a really (REALLY) good thing!

    1. Thank you for inviting me to guest post for you, Leanne. It’s a pleasure to be appearing on Cresting the Hill. I’m sure we’re both going to get those creative juice flowing again. We are determined women!

    1. Thanks for checking out the post, Jacqui. I’m really interested that you never/rarely feel ‘overfished.’ Any idea why that is? I notice that you read a lot in your field of interest. Could it be that you are always in the mode of restocking yourself with images and ideas?

  2. Hi there… I popped over and commented there. You’ve given me a couple of nudges… I was feeling the next few weeks as a dry spell, so that was needed!

    P.S. I just booked a Tarot Intuitive reading for next week… I guess that’s an Artist Date for me even if not “alone”!

    1. Hi Pat,
      Thanks for commenting on Leanne’s site. You’ll see that I’ve written you a lengthy response there.
      I’m really glad to hear that you booked a tarot reading. Can’t wait to hear whatever you’re willing to share from that experience. I hope it’s a great one. Oh and it totally counts as an artist date – you’re supposed to go to them alone (not that we agree with that), but it’s understood that others will be wherever you’re going.

  3. Hi Karen,

    I already commented on Leanne’s site but it occurred to me seeing this in my inbox today that I left out something I do regularly to “inspire me.” Actually, two things. One is that I meditate every day and I actually am inspired sometimes while sitting in silence. Ideas will come to me and although I usually resist going too far away from my practice, if they are good ones they always stick with me. The second one is talking with my muse—who I happen to be married to. He thinks along the same thoughts as me–but not quite the same! So when I’m feeling less than inspired I can ask him what is on his mind and if he has any ideas. Some of my best ideas come from him! And while I realize you aren’t married I KNOW you have close friends like most everyone, so that would work too. I think having friends who are curious and open to interesting ideas are more than willing to share topics with you. And even when I take his ideas and head in a different direction entirely, the conversation is valuable. ~Kathy

    1. Hi Kathy,
      Someday when you have more time, I want to ask you more about your meditation practice. I’ll wait until after your travels then will get in touch about that.
      How fortunate for you that you have a live-in muse! Thom would be a great source of ideas, as I know that Ross is for Leanne and, as she says below, Richard is for Donna. Your very own at-home artist dates 🙂

  4. Hi, Karen – I just commented over at Leanne’s site. I also agree with Kathy that talking with my muse (aka Richard) also promotes my creativity. Great guest post!

    1. Thanks, Donna. Kathy made a good point about your live-in muses and yes, as soon as she said it, I thought that the same must be true for you with Richard. The experiences you have with Richard, like walking the El Camino and your plan to walk in Italy next year – those experiences must be so enriching of both your relationship and your creativity. It’s wonderful.

  5. I tried to comment on Leanne’s site and not sure if my comment went through or not. I have been working my way through The Artist’s Way, and have struggled with Artist’s Dates. I love your suggestions! I have written about my struggle and am preparing to publish a two part series on it so your post is timely to my state of mind. And yes, I get depressed when my pond is empty. But it is good to know there are actions I can take to restock. Just this week I found a new comedian who inspired me – Demetri Martin – so funny, intelligent and creative. He helped me see things through a new lens and sparked so much creativity in me. I have not heard of the Genius series – I must look for it. Loved seeing you on Leanne’s blog.

    1. Hi Molly,
      I don’t see your comment on Leanne’s blog, but maybe she’ll be able to retrieve it and put it up there. Sorry if it didn’t work and thanks for leaving one here just in case.
      I look forward to reading your two-part series about The Artist’s Way and Artist Dates. Knowing you the posts will be both insightful and hilarious!
      I’m going to have to look up Demetri Martin. Anyone who can add to your already astounding repertoire must be someone pretty wonderful.

  6. Hi Karen, I’m late to reply but I’ve left a comment for you over on Leanne’s blog. I feel encouraged and motivated after reading your thoughts. You have also given me another Julia Cameron book to check out. Have a beautiful week and thank you for your continuing friendship. xx

    1. Hi Sue,
      No such thing as late, my friend. Thanks for your comment over on Leanne’s site. If you are feeling encouraged and motivated, I am delighted. We’ll chat soon. xx

  7. Hi Karen,
    Thanks for your advice on renewing energy. I have been feeling a bit of that in the last few months. However, just lately I have experienced a renewal of energy. Why? Mostly because I happened upon some new information that fills in some blanks on my family history. I am excited again and look forward to meeting up with my friends at my memoir writing workshop.
    The other shot of energy I got was when my application for funding from the local Rotary club was approved and I got a substantial amount of money to help out with my British friend’s crowdfunding effort to raise money for an organization that helps Syrian children recover from PTSD from the war in their country.
    I kind of think that the lull in energy comes to an end when success in pursuing and achieving something a little more difficult. At least it works for me!

  8. I appreciate that in this year of personal reinvention, inspiration is likely going to come from unusual and unpredictable sources. The challenge for me will be staying attuned for those synchronous moments. I hope your muse is generous to you 🙂

  9. Hi Karen! I always have trouble leaving a comment on Leanne’s site so I will leave mine here… I too experience the feeling of low energy now and then. At those times, it can be difficult to think of topics for my blog or find inspiration for my creativity. Like my friends Kathy and Donna mentioned, I often look to my husband to be my inspirational muse for blog ideas, but for other creative pursuits, nothing beats a visit to an art gallery or an artist’s studio to get my thoughts churning again.

    1. Hi Janis,
      Oh I love visiting artist’s studios. It’s so fabulous to see where creative people do their work. Now if only I could visit an artist’s studio without feeling that I need to support the artist by buying something they’ve created. So far the only way I’ve found to do that is to go when there’s a big crowd–and even then there’s no guarantee that I won’t be hauling out the credit card.

  10. Hi Karen – I left a comment for you on Leanne’s site. I also find ideas from noticing my surroundings, listening and talking to people in my circle of family and friends. Great guest post!

    1. Thanks, Natalie, for leaving comments in both places. I’ve replied to the one you left on Leanne’s site. With all of your travel – internationally and around Toronto – I imagine you are always in a process of restocking your pond with great images and ideas.

  11. Usually it’s from exhaustion and lack of sleep. I recently had a week where I had 9 hours total sleep for the week. That’s when the simplest tasks become an effort.

    1. Sorry about the delay in replying, AJ. I could have sworn I sent you a reply right away. I know that I certainly thought it. It was along the lines of – Holy smokes – 9 hours in a week? Forget about simplest tasks becoming effortful. I didn’t think it was even possible to survive on only nine hours of sleep. I hope this week, and all other weeks this year, are far better.

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