All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, right? All work and no play also makes for a fussy, overstimulated book baby and an exhausted writing career parent.
Hey, we can’t help entering this adventure with some expectations. We wouldn’t be human with normal functioning brains if we didn’t fantasize about brilliant, prodigy book children we are destined to give the world. But, our expectations can put undue pressure on us, to the point where we stop having fun!
Grammar and syntax and plot arcs and characterization, broken down, analyzed, critiqued, revised. What are we doing to stimulate both our parenting and our book babies? How can we infuse more play? In what ways can we just plain have some fun, without the pressure of the play being designed as any sort of book development?
Here’s a little game I find refreshes both me as a parent and my writing career child on the whole. I call it “The Stinker”. It’s a little story I write on the side that is meant to be my worst possible plot I can manage. In “The Stinker” my sole focus is making my muse laugh her ass off and my internal editor cringe in the corner. It’s riddled with errors, head hopping, crude humor, the works. It’s a little mental playground for me and my book baby and when things seem to get hard, on those days we’re both screaming in frustration, we pull out “The Stinker” have some fun.
Soon, I’m able to see how hard I was being on myself and on my book baby with all those rules and expectations. And I remember the joy of simply enjoying our time together, be it a day we reach a milestone or a day we regress. Both are okay.
What do you do to keep things fun along the way?