Writerly Play allows you to personalize, map, and problem-solve your creative process. The invitation is to step into the story of your creative development and to play your way through. Creativity requires you to venture into uncharted territory. What if, instead of feeling like you were always in the messy middle, you could use story as a map?
The map of your process might look like this:
You can see your story as a set of nesting dolls:
the story of your week
inside the story of your current project
inside the story of this season of creative growth.
When you’re feeling lost, it might be time to narrow your focus or, on the other hand, time to zoom out. Either way, by looking at the story from a different vantage point, you’re likely to gain new perspective. When you imagine life this way, and visualize yourself as a traveler on a journey, you’re already using a playful mindset.
What if we took play a little further?
What if we used visualization and storytelling to see the different kinds of thinking required in the creative process, and to furnish and style mental rooms for each one?
Picture a studio, filled with toys and space for ideation, next to a workshop with a well-organized toolbench for crafting beauty out of that mess of possibilities. And how about rooms for reflection, learning, and collaboration, too?
Like story, play is a tool that works big picture and also in the fine detail. A quick warm-up game can shift your Tuesday morning energy from “I can’t,” to “Let’s see where this question may lead!” Each of those mental rooms can be stocked with a range of playful tools that invite you to approach the task at hand with a sense of curiosity and wonder.
When we dig down to what’s at the heart of Writerly Play, when we ask ourselves what’s possible and what’s at stake, the answer is: the beautiful and unique work that only you can make.
Doing your real, wholehearted, brave work requires you to set down your armor. For me, when it’s time to walk unarmored into the dragon’s cave, I choose play over perfectionism as my tool of choice to face that fiery beast.
Writerly Play invites you to play your way to the page, courageously, wholeheartedly, boldly. Just like the main character of any worthwhile story, you can count on facing challenges. Real ones. And when you push on through, those of us cheering you on will celebrate and then lean in asking, “What’s next?”
If you’re just starting to explore Writerly Play, welcome! And in case you’re excited about the possibilities and wondering where to start, here’s an excellent place to begin.
In love and creativity,