Charlotte Rains Dixon  

On Refilling the Well in the New Year (A Love Letter)

One of the best things you can do for yourself if refill your writing well. (I am rebelling against using the term self-care, because itis overworked to the point of meaninglessness.) There are many ways to refill the well, and only you can decide what works best for you.  Some suggestions:



–Gardening (at least come spring)

–Knitting (pour moi, a biggie)




–Cooking or baking

In pondering the past year, one of the themes that came up for me over and over again was connection. It is one of the chief ways I refill my well . Through connecting with family, and connecting with friends. And connecting with other writers.

I co-lead a bi-weekly writing workshop here in Portland, andI teach one-day workshops throughout the year. Then there are the two week-long workshops in France every September. And this year, a week in Astoria. I coach writers one-on-one. Many of the writers I teach are also close personal friends.  Friend and student alike, they help me refill my well.

Another way I refill it is through connecting with friends I’ve met through business networking and online.  One of these friends lives in Portland and I get to see her in person regularly. One lives in the Seattle area but is in the process of moving to Montpelier, France—so I will get to see her on my annual jaunts over there.

And one of these friends is my dear Patty Bechtold, a gentle and wise therapist from Santa Rosa, California.

I mention her not only because she is so important to me, but because she and I are doing a virtual retreat together to start out 2019.  In some of our phone conversations (we’ve never actually met in person), we’ve talked about how tired we are of the race to keep up, to do more, to have the most successful business around.In one of the podcasts we did together last year, we did some expressive writing together and one of the phrases that came out was “the glow of the gentler lifestyle.” This was on the eve of my month-long writing sabbatical in France last March, where a gentler lifestyle is very much possible.  But that phrase keeps coming back up in our conversations. And so finally we decided to do something about it.

Which is taking the form of a free two-hour virtual retreat to welcome in 2019 in a gentler manner.

Read some of Patty’s wise words about it:

What if the start of this new year could be different?

  • No need to sort out the past year
  • No resolutions to make
  • No goals to set

Instead,just a simple, gentle process to unearth your own unique rhythms and bring you home to yourself.

Perhaps you’ve grown a bit weary of predetermined plans.

Or the constant pressure to know where you’re going.

And, even if you do find end-of-year/beginning-of-year planning helpful, maybe there’s something more that you’re longing for.

Something more to center you as you cross the threshold from one year to the next.

And that something is exactly what we are going to be doing—hosting a retreat to center and anchor you as we enter this new year. On January 17th at 5 PM Pacific, we will share reflective writing exercises, some thoughtful prose and poetry, maybe a meditation or two. You can find all the details and sign up here, and best of all, it is FREE!  A recording will be sent out afterwards if you can’t attend live.

I hope you will join us. But even if you don’t, I hope you will take a few minutes to ponder what refills your well—and then go do it. Writing takes a lot of mental energy and you don’t want to deplete it.I’m convinced that mental fatigue is the cause of what many consider to be writer’s block.

And, when next we talk, it will be 2019. So Happy New Year!


France 2019—We’ve posted the information for next year’s workshop! Find all the details here.  There’s a discount if you commit before the end of the year, so check it out now.

Coaching—I haven’t done a lot of it this past year, but I’m taking on a few new clients in January. I’ve already committed to several people, and don’t have a lot of room for more, so if you are interested, reply to this email and we will talk.

Facebook Group

And of course, don’t forget to join the Facebook  group if you haven’t already.  I post lots of good links and we often have lively writerly discussions going.   

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