I woke up late this morning...lay in bed and flipped through the Saturday morning children's programs and then I saw a public service announcement that urged kids to check out their website and find out how to play? Isn't the whole purpose of play not to have rules? Didn't you play by using your imagination, running wild down the street or in the playground, inventing games and stories, making up fun things to do with your friends that were different than the day before? I found it a little bit sad that with many schools cutting recess and physical education our society has to remind kids to get out there and play...and oh, by the way this is what play is. In sociology class many years ago my professor has us take games to public places and see if people would join in. At first it was awkward setting up games in the middle of a busy mall but as adults started to join in, there was laughter, surprise and fun...until we got kicked out of the mall for playing Twister in public.
My professor believed that adults should never lose the ability or desire to play. And as we get older we usually forget how. Work takes over and play is a planned-far-in-advance summer vacation or something that a corporation organizes to build teamwork.
Today, think about what makes you "wildly enthusiastic" and write a scene where a character just plays. How does playing change your character? Playing increases creativity because it helps us let go of all of the rules. How would your writing change if you ignored the rules and just played with words? Now get back to work! (or take the day off and just play)
The Writing Nag