Refilling Your Creative Tanks


Refilling Your Creative Tanks R.S. Mollison-Read

I read an article a few months ago, about the creative process of Joss Whedon, who is the brilliant mind behind such cult classics as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Dollhouse, and my personal favourite, Firefly. The article is very interesting, but one quote in particular really stuck with me. Whedon said:

“Fill the tanks, fill the tanks, fill the tanks. Constantly watching things, and things you don’t normally watch. Step outside your viewing zone, your reading zone. It’s all fodder, but if you only take from one thing, then it’ll show.”

This statement resonates with me for two reasons:

First, Whedon, one of the most prolific creatives in television today, understands the importance of looking for inspiring ideas by consuming the creative endeavours of others. I find this to be so truthful. When I read something by a brilliant author, (like the Bartimaeus Trilogy by Jonathon Stroud), or watch a superb television show, (like Orphan Black, which you should start watching immediately), it makes me feel inspired, and creative, and full of energy. So the idea that writers, and artists, and musicians should consciously make time to consume the creative works of others is one that I find very powerful.

Second, Whedon highlights the importance of consuming creative works outside of the genres you usually enjoy. As an avid reader of both sci-fi and fantasy, this was initially an uncomfortable idea for me to explore. I very rarely read anything outside of those two genres. Reading about Whedon’s own experience, finding inspiration for Firefly from an historical fiction, outside of the genres he usually enjoyed, was an interesting anecdote. And it convinced me to give it a try!

So, this summer, I will be consuming as much creative content as I can get my hands on! I will be reading, watching television and movies, going to plays, and operas, teaching myself how to draw (we’ll see how that goes!), My goal for the summer is to refill my creative tanks. I’ve already found some cool new resources for my these endeavours. I’ve started using Wattpad, and have discovered several new authors already! So friends, I’m off to fill my creative tanks! I hope you all have a wonderful summer!

I will also be participating in the Smashwords 2014 Summer Promotion! Starting July 1st, my latest novel, Magician’s Mastery will be 50% off at Smashwords! Use the discount code SSW50 to receive the discount. Magician’s Mayhem, the first book in the Elden Forest series is already FREE!

Tell me, how do you refill your creative tanks? Do you have any recommendations for things to read, or watch?


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8 thoughts on “Refilling Your Creative Tanks

  1. Susan Waterwyk

    Good Blog Rachael. I agree that diversification is so important in filling my creative tanks. I love reading SciFi/Fantasy most of the time, but I will read all types of books especially the great classics. I want to know why they are classics. What great thoughts or characters did this immortal writer write? Whenever I find a super good work I will read it more than once. Filling and refilling my creative tanks.


    Good point, Susan! Reading a great piece of literature over and over again is so valuable. It’s amazing how every new read can give you a different, insight!

  3. […] Mollison-Read presents Refilling Your Creative Tanks posted at R.S. Mollison-Read, saying, “Find new ways to inspire creativity by consuming the […]

  4. […] time to get in as many experiences as possible. I talked about this at length in my post about refilling your creative tanks, and I also try and get as much travel in as possible, because I find that also inspires my […]

  5. An enjoyable post – and I love Joss Whedon.
    I read a lot in various genres as I get bored reading 2 similar books in a row, even if they’re both by a favourite author (anyone else find this?).
    Going for walks helps to fill the creative tank, making sure to take notice of all sorts of details, big and small – for example, a massive old tree in a churchyard I regularly walk through, hundreds of years old, was blown down in a storm a few weeks ago. It lay there for a while, and it’s gradually been sawn away at, logs piling up to the side. The workmen are just about down to the stump, which is several yards in diameter. Now most of it’s been cleared, you can see the gravestones that were broken by t the fall. There’ll be some stories there!
    Another way is by travelling. Now our daughters have grown, me and husband have been able to visit more places overseas, which have sparked several stories, successfully sold.
    And I always, always keep a notebook with me, as well as write experiences, whether travel and/or personal in a journal.
    The creative tank is like a snowball : the more you gather, the bigger it gets.

    • I love the imagery from the sights you’ve seen on your walks! I also love travel; for its own merit, and for the inspiration it brings. Thanks for the great insights Rebecca! Glad you enjoyed the post:)

  6. […] Consumption of other people’s work can be wonderful. It is often inspiring, and enlightening to encounter the ideas of others. I like to make time and space to actively consume works of fiction, and non-fiction, through art, and music and theatre, and travel. I’ve written in great detail about ‘refilling your creative tanks‘! […]

  7. […] Refill: I discussed this in greater detail in this post, and this post, but I find summer to be the best time to ‘refill my creative tanks’. I […]

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