I need some help please.
I’m looking for answers to the question … how important is playing and having fun for our creativity?
One of the things I keep hearing recently is how impossible it is to make time for fun when most of us are working to pay the bills so we can manage to fit in our own writing and creativity.
But I wonder if there’s something else.
Here’s a famous image of Tolstoy…
… hmmm, somehow it’s hard to imagine him having fun like the writers Chris Tinniswood and Will Sutton, seen here at a recent Reauthoring event to look at new ways of presenting our writing…
Although of course I do imagine that Tolstoy did play at home, here’s a photograph of a family tennis match after all. It just wasn’t (or isn’t now?) his public image as a writer.
Have we become frightened of playing in case we aren’t taken seriously anymore?
I googled ‘suffering writer’ and came up with 50,600,000 results. Hmmm. Writers block, pain of publication, pain of no publication…. So if we are having fun, are we doing it right? Or with enough meaning?
And yet, and yet, surely playing is part of being a writer. Because what are we doing when we write if not playing on the page. And by playing, I mean in the sense of how Chris and Will were doing above – trying out different ways of telling the story, of showing new angles, even of taking on new personalities for the duration of the writing.
So what I want to ask you … is how important is play in your creative process? Do you make time to have fun? And if not, why not? And if you do, how does it help? I want to look initially at what you do to have fun OFF the page, as well as in your actual writing.
I’d really love to know your experiences. It’s for an article for Mslexia magazine, and I’ll of course contact you to ask permission if I want to quote you.
In the meantime, here’s a play-full thank you – some haikus by someone who did know how to play!