So, can writing be fun? Is it playful? Well, obviously not all of it! Not unless you've got some really crazy definition of fun, and also like paper cuts, blistering sunburns, and seeing small dead animals on the road.
But writing can (and maybe should) owe inspiration to fun, and even in the query woes and at that stage of revision where burning is too good for your book, writing can enjoy the sparkly edge of play. I'm talking about those moments when you're walking down the street and suddenly your writer sense (which everyone knows is second only to a spidey sense) goes crazy. You've just seen something preposterous, or maybe tiny and dear, and it's sparked all kind of shiny writing ideas. Woot for sparklies!
Or maybe you're going about your serious day in your serious life, and someone surprises you. Or you surprise yourself. And it's not the bad kind of surprise, like waking up to the sound of your child vomiting all over their bedroom...when you have to catch a plane at 5am and just got to sleep...but rather, it's the good kind of surprise. Like, when you've been trudging through a dreary day of rain and more rain, and suddenly the sun pulls up a corner of the grey sky and shines out, splashing a rainbow over everything! Or, you're watching a parade and you see...
a grown man, walking on stilts, pretending that he's floating in an inner tube down a river...in the middle of the street. Do you see the look on his face? The way his smile seems to reach every corner of his being? That's play. And I think we all need it, but especially creative people.
We need it because without it, the well into which we dip can run dry. And our oasis shrivels, and we find ourselves trying to build sand castles without any water to make the sand pack, or paint an image of a vibrant, mysterious jungle with nothing but one wilted leaf.
Finding play can be tricky. Children help. So do animals, and people that smile at us. But in the end it's about ourselves, our souls, and if we recognize the inspiration and power in play. If we can step back from the daily grind of butt in chair and elbow grease to appreciate that sunlight bursting in, and the hilarious things a kid will say when woken by vomit at 5am. Because play is all around us, once we've opened our eyes to see it.
Cherish it, embrace it, and let the laughter come.
Tell, me, what inspires your writing? What makes you smile? I would love to hear your thoughts!