Day 23: Find the fun

Day 23, come play with me…

Today, in the spirit of this ridiculous time of year, let’s put all our stresses aside for a minute and have some proper writing fun. The kind of unbridled creative exploration we used to do as kids.

‘Cause sometimes, even though the author doth protest that writing is their most favouritest thing in the whole world, sometimes it’s a bit of a drag. It’s hard. It becomes a serious endeavour instead of playtime…

“[When I was a wee bairn,] I’d get home from school and head straight for my notebook. I’d write in lessons, at break times, and deep into the night. I always had a story in my head. But somewhere between adolescence and adulthood life took over. Work, chores, child-wrangling, money worries, my pathetic social life – somehow all of it gets prioritised over writing, even though storytelling remains ingrained in my tired, grown-up, semi-responsible heart.

And so recently I started watching my kids a little more closely (and jealously). What do they do that I don’t? How do they manage to be so prolific, so effortlessly? And why have I made writing into some sort of chore? How do I learn to write like a kid again?”

10 Ways to Write Like a Kid

How indeed?

Well, Jordan Peele, author of Get Out, tells us to ‘follow the fun’ and we couldn’t agree more:

“We all deal with writer’s block. We all get in our own way. My mantra was ‘follow the fun’. That means, if I’m not having fun, I’m doing it wrong. If you get to a point where you hate what you’re doing, it’s up to you to figure out how to have fun while doing it.”

Jordan Peele’s Advice on Writing Thrillers

Writing can be hard AND fun at the same time. It can be challenging and exhilerating. It can be frustrating and deeply satisfying.

But you gotta have fun – and believe in what you’re doing.

When you’re a kid, nothing is impossible. You truly believe you might be able to fly if you jump off the roof of the shed with a parachute made out of a sheet. You truly believe a man in a red suit somehow delivers presents all over the world in a single night. You truly believe your story is the best thing EVER. You don’t even stop to doubt it.

Nothing is impossible for Sparrow Girl

So forget about the tricky parts and the inner critic and the fact that your next self assessment tax payment is due at the end of January (actually, write that one down on a post-it note because you’re a responsible adult as well as a creative child).

Forget about the impossible.

Find the FUN.

Gif of a woman aggressively yelling: "We're all gonna have FUN!"

So here’s your task for today:

What do you find most fun about writing? Action scenes? Plotting out a brand new story? Describing your setting in intricate detail? Making your poor characters suffer? The sexy bits? Dialogue? Crafting a brilliant mystery? Murdering all the fictional people? Editing your work with a fine-toothed comb and a red pen?

Forget about any so-called writing ‘rules’ for a moment (‘show, don’t tell’ be damned) and indulge your sense of fun.

Take a minute to think about what you REALLY want to write about RIGHT NOW and go for it.

It could be a random scene, disconnected to any existing WIP.

It could be an extension of one of your advent ideas, or a repetition of your favourite exercise.

It could be a page of journal-like stream of consciousness.

It could be a limerick or poem or song lyrics.

It could be fan fiction.

It could be absolutely anything you want it to be – just make sure you enjoy the living heck out of the process for a whole 20 minutes.

(If you’re a bit stumped at the openness of this prompt then use that tweet above as inspiration: What ‘impossible’ thing seemed totally doable when you were a little kid? Catching a sparrow out of the air? Becoming an astronaut? Your toys coming to life? Write about that and make it fun!)

Go write. Enjoy it. This is your favourite thing to do, after all.

We’ll see you tomorrow for an Advent Eve penultimate exercise (squeeeeee!) but ’til then, come and check in with us on the forum if you have a mo, and HAVE FUN!

Useful Stuff & Things

Learn how to Get Excited About Your Writing Again when you’re struggling to find that fun…

And for a deeper dive into why we’re drawn to our favourite writing subjects, take a look at this unit from the Write What You Know course: What’s Your Theme?

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