“The best climber in the world is the one who’s having the most fun.” Alex Lowe, mountain climber
“Do what makes your soul happy.” Sandwich Sign, The Local Cafe
Are we having fun yet?
It’s easy to forget in the day-to-day crush of trying to reach whatever goals we’ve set for ourselves that having fun is a big part of doing what you love. And if we don’t love what we’re doing, why do it?
Sure, we don’t love it all the time – 24/7 – that’s online territory: We’re not computers, thank the lord! Sometimes we struggle and get stuck. Some days, things don’t go well. Some days, we feel like throwing in the towel. And that’s OK. If we had fun all the time, then we wouldn’t really know what having fun felt like, would we?
Even so, here’s a question I’ve been pondering: Can I have fun while I’m wrestling with a tough stage in my revision the way Jacob wrestled with the angel? Can I have fun while I’m tackling something thorny, and tough, and resistant? And will having fun help me? Can bringing a more playful attitude to my problem actually be the key to solving it? Is playfulness a fruitful form of problem-solving? And is it actually more productive than pummeling myself because I’m stuck?
Right now, this morning, I’m feeling like the answer is yes. When we’re playful, we’re curious. When we’re playful, we’re open. And when we’re playful, dare I say it, we’re having fun! And the muses, I believe, are attracted to a joyful noise.
The muses are smart and clever and hip – they know a lot about creativity – it’s their stock and trade. When they see someone wringing their hands and wailing because something’s not going well, the muses know that’s a losing game. Because being angsty and feeling stressed is a one-way street with no detours: It leads in one direction: to more stress and more angst. So, when the muses see moaning, they move on.
So I’m going to drop the drama – and put on my dancing shoes today! I’m going to be grateful and joyful about working on a story that I love and that matters to me. And I’m going to play around on the page and see what bubbles up. “Don’t get frustrated, get fascinated” when you hit a problem – that’s my friend and mentor Dr. Rob Gilbert’s advice.* Sounds good to me! I’d much rather spend today exploring the Land of Possibility than stewing in the Slough of Despond. How about you? Write on!
* Be sure to check out Dr. Gilbert’s fabulous Success Hotline (973.743.4690).