The lost art of fun

When’s the last time you had fun?

What is your definition of fun? If you’re my mom, your definition of fun includes cleaning the house, which is just messed up beyond all get-out. Cleaning is not fun. Necessary, sure. Satisfying to some? Okay. Fun? No. Not in any universe. Mom also likes Sudoku, which qualifies as fun for her engineer’s mind, but gives me agita because numbers. Shudder.

Having fun requires doing something that doesn’t involve work or drudgery. Cooking can be fun. Reading, surfing the interwebs, playing games, talking with friends, knitting, sex, playing an instrument (unless that is part of your job), traveling, petting the cat or dog, napping, watching sunsets, taking photos (again, unless this is part of your job), writing (unless job), any sport or outdoor leisure activity (even mowing and weeding, if you are into gardening). The list of activities that qualify as fun extends beyond this, but you are the only one who can determine what is fun to you. Unless you say cleaning. Then you have no idea how to have fun and should try something from the above list.

Having fun, throwing caution to the wind, trying new things, having adventures, and spending time enjoying life are essential to being a writer. Because wonder. Because humor. Because experience. Without wonder, humor, and a variety of experiences, you will have nothing to write about. This is not the Victorian era and you are not Emily Dickinson, so don’t even try to pull that excuse.

This is the 21st Century, Jack. You need breadth and depth of experience in the world – your world – not necessarily the globe-trotting world. Because stories.

If you want to have ideas, you have to have experiences. If you want your brain to be open and relaxed to receive insights and inspiration, you must have fun.

Besides, why are we living if not to enjoy ourselves? My goodness, we all have to work, but learn to relax and have fun on a regular basis and you will be a much happier, more content, more relaxed, and more productive writer (and person in general). If you are “too busy” to have fun, then you need to re-think your life, much less your plans to be a writer.

Embrace fun. Go have some. You’ll thank me. 🙂

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