Every writer faces times when their writing seems dull and uninspired. If your prose needs a wake up, you might need to loosen your collar, let down your hair and have some fun.
Yes, it’s that simple: being playful can make you a better writer.
Before you go running down to the closest big-box to buy a set of rollerblades or, God forbid, start pranking everyone in your social circle, let’s look at what defines playfulness in relation to creativity.
Many studies point to the strong connection between playfulness and high levels of creative output, exemplified by geniuses like Mozart and Picasso who were notorious for playful hijinx. Mozart was particularly sassy, writing scatological lyrics about his morning worship service (“Quarter past nine-y, blow one out behind-y in the church”) and incorporating bawdy double entendres into some of his serious musical pieces. But play needn’t be silly, sexy, or involve other people. In fact, anyone can wake up their own creative genius by incorporating a boost of outside-the-box thinking to their day.
The kind of play that can help boost your writing to the next level, heave you out of a writing rut, or inject a little sass into your scribblings can be as simple as shaking up your routine, following your heart rather than your head, or trying something new.
Six Ways to Wake Up Your Creative (Writing) Genius
I’ve listed a few ways to move yourself outside of your daily grind and get your creative engines revving. Try one or more and watch the impact it has on your writing. You may find words coming easier, ideas flowing more naturally, and your writing moving in new and exciting directions automatically.
- Wake up at a different time each morning for a week. Sleep on the “other” side of the bed so you get out on the opposite side as usual.
- Go to a movie theater and buy tickets to the same movie as the person in front of you or let the ticket person choose your movie for you. Go even if you don’t think you’ll like the film.
- Take a new route to a usual destination, or use a different form of transportation.
- Wear something uncoventional (for you) in public.
- Cancel plans you feel obligated to and do what you want instead. Give yourself permission to feel no guilt. After all, it’s in the name of experimentation. You can explain later, if you feel you need to.
- Give a complete stranger a compliment.
I’m a pretty unconventional human being, having always danced to my own beat, but even I fall into ruts now and again. It’s hard not to. And in our busy lives with limited free time, we tend to gravitate toward those things we like and eschew events and opportunities that we *might* not like. This tendency keeps us homogenous and, quite frankly, stagnant in all areas of our lives, even writing.
So shake it up a little! Do you like opera? Go to a Metallica concert instead! Do you play video games in your free time on a Saturday? Try hiking with friends, playing touch football, or surfing. You get the idea — playing outside your box can help you write outside your box, too.
See you on the next page!