Monday, September 2, 2019

Whatcha Gonna Do When the Well Runs Dry, Honey?

By Yolanda Smith

Whatcha Gonna Do when the Well Runs Dry, Honey?

I’ll admit it—this blog post was due, and I had nuthin’. Sometimes my well of ideas runs dry. My lack of material is not due to stupidity. At least, I hope that’s not the case. This problem usually manifests when I’m full of conflicting and competing responsibilities (back-to-school, anyone?), and they take over my brain, siphoning the creativity faster than a gas thief. What’s a writer to do?

Sit on the Bank and Cry, Cry, Cry
Tears are my default when things aren’t going write right. I used to be ashamed of my tears, doing everything within my power to stop the flow. That’s never worked well for me, so my second option was to hide the blubbering as best I could. That remained true for many years, until I realized God gave me tears as a gift, and I stopped holding back. These days a hearty sob is no crying shame. When I’m feeling overwhelmed, tired, or out of sorts, a good bawl cleanses my soul and is the closest thing I have to a reset button.

Yonder Comes a Man with a Sack on His Back
We know the source of all creativity, right? He’s in sight, and He’s headed our way. He’s the living water, ready to slake our thirst if we’re willing to sit at His feet and drink deeply of all He offers. He can fill our wagon, our well, and our water bottles with whatever we need most. Often, we don’t even know what to ask for, but He knows what we need, and He’s got a sack full of supplies. But it’s our job to pay attention—and notice His presence.

Got More Crawdads than He Can Pack
God has a bottomless reservoir of creativity available. There’s no promise as to the measure He will share with us, but we won’t be worse for the asking. He invites us to remember every good and perfect gift comes from Him.

You Get a Line, I’ll Get a Pole, Honey
Wouldn’t it be odd if, while pulling out a good folk song or ballad and whistling a jaunty tune, we actually get a line? And one line leads to another line, and a nibble turns to a catch. Soon, we’re fishing in the deep waters of creativity once again. Or writing a full blog post. Wow!

We’ll Go Down to the Crawdad Hole
Make sure to invite others along the journey with you. Sometimes when the well is dry the best way to prime the pump is share what you already know with someone who is a little behind you on the road. Everything feels ho-hum until we begin recounting what we’ve learned along the way, and it refuels our passion to keep learning and trying.

Honey, Baby, Mine
At the center of why we write is the gift of words, and the gift of an audience. We are called to serve people with and through the words we share, giving away our ideas and experiences as a way to love our audience well.

What do you do when you run out of ideas? Where do you turn for inspiration? We’d love for you to share your best ideas with us in the comments.

(Photos courtesy of, Sira Anamwong, and Aleks Melnik.)


Writer, when the inspiration and ideas run dry, turn to the Source of all creativity. God’s reservoir is bottomless and never runs dry. via @canitbeyolanda (Click to tweet.)

Yolanda Smith enjoys life in the foothills of North Carolina. In a “Yours, Mine & Ours” spin, she and her husband are parents to a combined total of twelve children and grandparents to a growing number of littles. Yolanda serves on her church’s worship team, works as a freelance editor, is a guest speaker at various churches, and writes in the cracks of life. She is currently working on her first novel featuring historical Appalachian fiction. A former member of a legalistic, cultish church, Yolanda is passionate about helping people find freedom in Christ. She is also enthusiastic about reading good books and correcting bad grammar.

You can find Yolanda on the Internet at:


  1. Yes, yes! When you feel like the well is dry, go to Him. Even if the well is full, go to Him. :-)

    1. Wise words, Melissa. Go to Him. Period. Thanks for sharing. :)