Creative Play, or: Letting Your Inner Child Run Rampant

ImageA long, long time ago I wrote a blog post for Apex Magazine about creative play. It’s long gone now, after several much-needed and very successful website overhauls, and if the original version is on this computer, I’ll be dashed if I can find it. (Welcome to the modern world of data-hoarding and the joys of “What did I title that document again?”) But I wanted to discuss it again, because recently, I’ve started exploring what creative play means in a writing setting.

Let me begin with a bit of a flash-back: In “The Good Old Days” when I was in sixth and seventh grade, I could write for hours. Literally, hours. My standing record was seven hours straight one Saturday without stopping for sustenance or probably even to pee. I remember that day only in hazy memory, gilded at its fuzzy edges by the sparkling fairy dust of childhood-remembered, and the whisper of urgent creativity: what happens next? I didn’t want to play outside. I didn’t want to read. I didn’t want to watch TV (which, if you know me and my self-admitted addiction to television, is the biggest shocker of all). I wanted to write, because writing at that time was more than just putting words on the page. It was living story. It was all-consuming. I wasn’t writing at all, but playing make-believe in Times New Roman. It was free and it was fun as hell.

Was the writing good? Hell no. Some of those old 100-page novels make me wince in stylistic agony when I re-read them these days, but I can’t deny they were bliss to write. Even now, I consider those heady days as some of the best of my writing life. I was so absorbed by the stories I was telling, I couldn’t hardly think about anything else.

In high school, and particularly in freshman/sophomore year of college, I decided to get serious about pursuing writing as a career. Continue reading “Creative Play, or: Letting Your Inner Child Run Rampant”