Pencil and Shavings

How did Writerly Play come to be?

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thrown up my hands and wailed, “I know I’m capable of more … but what’s the next step?” Sometimes it feels like genuine creativity glimmers on the horizon, just out of reach. For a long time, I scurried from project to project, wondering when I’d finally feel like a real artist, one who was grounded, thriving, and successful.

Fortunately, I didn’t let myself wallow in those questions.

Instead, I dug deeper. What did I mean by grounded, thriving and successful? What did being a real artist mean to me, and what was the gap between where I stood and where I hoped to be?
I reflected. I talked to a lot of peers and students. I even sent out a survey on the creative life. The results were astonishing. No matter how far along artists are in terms of professional success, the majority of us perceive a gap between where we are and where we intend to be. For me, this was a wake-up call. I might never reach a point where I felt like a real artist, at least if I kept defining that identity through external professional success. I needed a practice, a way of living the creative life on a regular basis. I needed a way for day-to-day wins to count, so that I could gain a sense of momentum.

I needed a way to clearly navigate the creative process.

That’s what Writerly Play is: a framework to help us personalize, map and problem solve the creative process. I call this blog Writerly Play because every post is part of my personal deep-dive exploration of what it means to live as an artist, and the beating heart at the center of that exploration is Writerly Play. What exactly is the Writerly Play framework, and how can it help you live as a grounded, thriving, successful artist? Come on over to my recently revised Nuts and Bolts of Writerly Play series, and explore the possibilities with me.
Here’s to you and your creativity,

Snag Your Writerly Play Map

Print this game-board style map as many times as you like. Use it to plan your next creative journey or to track your progress along the way.

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