This weekend in The Writer’s Flow Studio we have our Live Monthly Masterclass. (Each month I do a Masterclass in the Studio on a topic related to the writer’s mindset.)
This month our topic is Writing as Play.
The definition of play is an activity done for the purpose of enjoyment. That’s it, just enjoyment. No grand schemes involving bestseller lists or how to make a living writing through self-publishing.
So let me ask you this: when was the last time you really enjoyed your writing session?
I strongly believe that we can’t force ourselves to write, and that trying to do so — especially when we’ve been trying to force ourselves for years on end — is deeply detrimental to the creative process.
In our minds, play lives on a continuum with work. And while many of us love what we do for work, we’re clear we’re not being paid to play. At work, we’re being paid to produce results.
When we bring the “produce results” mentality to our writing lives, our creative selves can just shut down under that pressure. Nothing is ever good enough, and we’re not good enough…as artists, as writers, as creative beings.
That’s why treating your writing as play can be so powerful. It allows us to release some of the rules and strictures we’ve placed on ourselves, even/especially the unspoken ones.
Unspoken rules about what stories we’re supposed to write. Rules about what’s good enough and who’s in charge of our writing lives anyway. (**Spoiler alert: you are in charge of your own writing life!)
Play has rules too sometimes, but they’re all about making the act of play even better. And some of the best play has no rules at all, as anyone with a 3-year old can attest.
Why You Should Treat Your Writing As Play
Writing as play calls us back to do it again soon.
Writing as play lifts the oppressive pressure of expectations.
Writing as play lets us try out new things without the risk of failure, because hey — we were just playing around. (That’s why I think using writing prompts can be such fun.)
Writing as play often yields surprising results we weren’t expecting, and this kind of surprise is good for the creative process and for our growth as artists.
Writing as play reminds us that we are creative beings who need to create and make meaning.
Writing as play makes it possible for us to get more writing done, because we’re not avoiding the desk or trying to force ourselves to put “butt in chair.” We’re just here for a good time.
Writing as play feels good!
As you plan your writing sessions for the coming week, why not ask yourself what would help make my writing feel like PLAY right now? Sketch out a few ideas for yourself (use a crayon!) and decide how to incorporate a few of these ideas into your regular writing routine.
What does thinking of your writing as play feel like for you?
>>> If you'd like to regain your focus and enjoy your writing again, check out my free PDF Guide: A Writer's Weekly Planner. In it, I break down “Short Time” and “Long Time” and show you how to put both into place in your writing life to get more writing done without all the anxiety and overwhelm.