Sometimes, the Well is Just Dry

That’s where I am today. A dry well.

This week, the pace of activity has been frenetic as troubling events have harmed real people. Like. . .

– White supremacists tearing down and a defacing anti-racist flyers on our campus.

The impending deportation of a father in our town. He has no criminal record. His deportation doesn’t make our town safer. It just unleashes trauma upon a mother and two children.

– More national news about attempts to deconstruct people’s needs – healthcare, services, and safety.

– And a number of unfolding scenarios that are causing personal harm in the lives of people I know.

Last night, I realized that I had run out of ideas of things to write about this week, in large part, because the well feels a bit dry. So I’ve decided to write about that.

I know this is an experience many of us are having. Sometimes, we know about challenging events. Some impact us directly. Other times, they don’t, but they call for our action, solidarity, and empathy. In times like these, there are moments when we respond, but we also run out of inspiration. And then we need to ask ourselves again, what does inspire us? What does keep us going?

Sometimes, it might be helpful to zoom out of our own spinning thoughts. To take a moment just to be in the moment. To notice what is right in front of us. To talk with a friend. To be in nature. To engage in art, beauty, and music.

I’m not advocating for pure and prolonged escapism. In many cases, there is a great deal of privilege in being able to take a break. Mostly, I mean that we need inspiration from these gifts – to work against the systems and actions that are harming people, yes, but also to work for a better vision than those systems in the first place. We need inspiration, and these gifts can give us that vision.

And sometimes, it might be helpful to zoom in. If we still ourselves and meditate, we can reconnect with our foundational values. Interestingly, if we go inward in a way that doesn’t center ourselves, we instantly reconnect with the relationships that inspire us and a fuel us forward in this important work.

So how’s your well? Is a little dry right now? What can we do to find that inspiration again?

Renee Roederer

5 thoughts on “Sometimes, the Well is Just Dry

  1. Hi Renee, my name is Jen, and I’m a reader from Pittsburgh who found you via a friend who is a pastor in Michigan. I found your message today both comforting and ironic because I was just thinking about how amazing it is that you are able to write and post so often. I am also a writer but have been “dried up” with material for a few months now, and seeing how often you say something worth saying has given me hope. Thank you for drawing from your well (dry or not) and bringing out such honest, encouraging, and readable words so consistently. I appreciate your work.


    1. Jen, thanks for your really kind words. And yes… that feeling of the dry well. . . Sometimes it’s literally not having something to say. Other times, it’s emotional heaviness or disconnection. Other times, it’s impostor syndrome: Do people really want to hear from me? I feel those sometimes.

      Huge encouragement to you as you look for that inspiration and then write with gusto, thus inspiring others!


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