One of my new favorite blogs is called “Bane of Your Resistance.” It’s the brainchild of Roseanne Bane, a creativity coach and author of an intriguing book called, Around the Writer’s Block: Using Brain Science to Solve Writing Resistance. In a recent roundup of Roseanne’s posts, I came across one on “creative play.” Not surprisingly, Roseanne, along with brain researchers, have identified play as one of the key tools to helping writers overcome their resistance to writing, whatever form it takes.
Creative play is “playing just for the sake of playing.” It’s play without an agenda or goal: results and outcomes don’t matter. You play for the sheer fun of it and you are equally satisfied if the result is messy or half-finished or even ugly. It’s kids’ stuff!
Why bother? As Roseanne notes, “Many writers think they’re too busy to ‘waste time’ with creative play.” Yet, just because you aren’t striving for a particular outcome, creative play is by no means a time waster. Allowing yourself to indulge in brief bouts of relaxing, unfettered play offers a host of benefits that can improve and energize your writing. According to Roseanne, creative play provides:
* “an antidote to perfectionism
* a place to surrender expectations
* hands-on experiences that engage your brain in ways that writing alone cannot
* time to allow your right-hemisphere to take the lead
* opportunities to refresh and restore your creative energy.”
There are many forms of creative play you can play around with to find what works best for you. Freewriting or journaling (or writing Morning Pages as described by Julia Cameron in The Artist’s Way) is one approach some writers use. Other examples:
* making collages
* playing with Play-Doh or modeling clay
* making a model
* painting (oils, acrylics, watercolor or finger painting)
* coloring in a coloring book
Any kind of creative play that you do mainly because it’s fun, fills the bill. Roseanne recommends that you give yourself a play session of 15 to 30 minutes, 4 to 6 days. She likes to spend 15 minutes filling in a geometric coloring book or working on a collage in the evenings, Monday through Friday. How about you — do you find that regular creative play helps make writing easier and more enjoyable? Write on.