Monday, 18 August 2014

The Value of Having Fun

Photo taken by my husband  :)
 Grumbling turned out to be a very worthwhile exercise, believe it or not. It helped me to work out why my writing's ground to a halt.

An imbalance between Responsibility and Fun.

I've not pencilled in time for fun for a LOOOOOOONG time. Because Fun just doesn't seem as important as other things. Fun can wait...

Hang on, what's Fun again?

Even my down-time has taken on a note of desperation - "Quick, I've got half an hour, RELAX!, connect to heart, NOW NOW NOW QUICK" - yeah. Not so good.

Pure and simple, I've allowed the daily grind to grind away at my ability to let my hair down and have fun.

This happened once before back in 2011 and I went on a complete non-writing hiatus for a few months and just concentrated on an art journalling course I wanted to do, 21 Secrets organised by Connie Hozvicka. I enjoyed that course so much. I could experiment with colours and shapes and textures and discover what I was capable of doing with them. I learned the value of making mistakes, and I learned about the value of process over product. Two very valuable lessons, because focusing on the Process means focusing on the journey, being in the moment. Enjoying what's happening. Not worrying about the end result.

My writing, on the other hand, is all about the end result. It's being worked on for a FUTURE moment. In the back of my mind it's always about the Product; final, polished version; being indie-published; deadline December 31st 2014. So a major part of my mindset is invested in something that is not immediate.

And ordinarily, that's fine. It's important to have goals to work towards. But where's the counterbalance to that, the simple enjoyment of creativity for its own sake? Enjoying something in  the moment it's being created?

At the moment, that aspect of creating is missing.

So, I've made two resolutions.

The first is to do one daily art challenge based on the many prompts on the web, including:

The second is to start playing an instrument. Specifically, the tin whistle. (A piano is beyond our budget just now.) I've never played the tin whistle beyond tooting around on one for a short while, but apparently there's quite a bit of technique to master if you want to be good.

I studied music in Uni. I used to play piano, violin, guitar, and I used to sing. There was seldom a day went by when I was not playing an instrument, or writing music, or singing.

They were good days. Very good days.

So, there we go. Two creative pursuits that focus solely on the moment, the Now. And once I've fed my soul with these two pursuits, I know the writing will come back into its own. Being creative,  and enjoying it as I'm doing it. That's the goal. :)

Goals for the coming week:

  1. Create a piece of artwork each day
  2. Relax in a relaxed way each evening
  3. Set my writing goal for the next day
  4. Write in my journal, 15 minutes a day
  5. Comment on my team's blogs

Be sure to check out the other ROW80 blogs to see how everyone is doing.

Who knew having fun was so important - especially for a writer? What sort of things do you do to just unwind and have fun?


  1. That's what I discovered, too! You must have fun, you need to play, you should always incorporate creative distractions into your goals. Otherwise, you'll shrivel up and die inside, pumping for all you're worth from a dry well. Congratulations on learning that! You'll find your creative wellspring refreshed and spilling over very soon!

    1. Thanks, Tammy! I'm so glad you're doing the same your end. Funny how we're going on that journey at the same time. :)

  2. I took the Creative Every Day challenge a couple of years ago - or was it just last year? At any rate, I produced a piece of art each day. They didn't have to be good - or even something I wanted to save, but it was great.

    For me, grabbing my camera and going for a walk is right up there among the top five things I like to do for fun. During their alone time, some people like to run; others like to garden; me, it's view life through the lens.

    All the best as you rediscover the importance of fun.

    1. That's the lovely thing about CED, it doesn't matter what my artwork looks like, just that I enjoyed it. Bit by bit I'm hoping that creating in this way will fill up the well.
      It sounds like photography does that for you.
      Perhaps getting out of the house to walk on my own, like you do, is something else I can try.
      Thanks for stopping by, Steph. :)


Hi! I love reading new comments so thank you for sharing. I'll be sure to get back to you to continue the conversation. :)