Friday, April 29, 2011

All Work and No Play Makes Jack a . . . yada yada yada

Welcome to Our Guest Blogger!

Our friend, Robin Edmundson from Rurification stopped by and left us a little Creativity Challenge to think about over the weekend.

'I am a worker bee. I work. It's what I do. One of my big challenges over the last few years has been to learn to have fun. I have never been good at having fun. I'm rather earnest by nature and I take everything Very Seriously. This means that I'm extremely conscientious and more than a little intense--which is all well and good when I'm being responsible [which is pretty much all the tine], but not so good when I need to stop working and relax or get some new ideas.

Fun is not someone that I know well. I've heard that she hangs around Inspiration and Relax a lot, and I've been advised by more than one person that if I'd invite Fun over more often, then Inspiration and Relax would show up, too. I tried it a few times--and they were right. It's just that I keep losing Fun's number, or perhaps I'm just afraid that Responsibility will get mad if I hang out with Fun too much. Clearly I need to work on that.

And that, my friends, is how you turn Fun into work. Stop it. Stop it right now.

The trick to getting Fun to show up is to let yourself get to know Play. Play shows up when you stop doing whatever-it-is-that-you're-doing so seriously. The relationship between Doing Things Not Seriously and Play is a lot like the Clark Kent/Superman thing. Try it. It really doesn't matter what you do as long as you do it Not Seriously. Walk from the bathroom to your bedroom, not seriously. Walk the dog, not seriously. Clear the table,  not seriously. Every time you do something Not Seriously, it's Play in disguise. No kidding. Keep practicing. Soon you'll find a way to turn a lot of your Work into Play. Wherever you find Play, you'll soon find Fun. Fun likes Play, and if you can just get Fun to show up, then Inspiration and Relax will show up too.

This week's challenge is about learning how to play again at your art. Choose a task that you want to do (or are desperate to be done with already) but you're not that into right now: those New Year's Resolutions that never quite got on paper; finishing Chapter 4; writing the orchestration for that sound track; fixing that scene in Act 2; cleaning up your space so you can get to your paint and canvas . . . you get the idea.

Now start that task--but start it. Not Seriously. Not Seriously will turn into Play, who will invite Fun, and pretty soon you've got a party. I wouldn't be surprised if they bring Silly along. She may be blonde, but she's not as dumb as you think.

Fun and Play may not be looking for commitment. Sometimes they prefer a one night stand. It's fine if they show up just long enough to get your creative party started. And don't worry that the party will spoil your masterpiece. This is an easy party to clean up after. And while you're straightening things up afterward, you just may stumble on some hidden treasure.

P.S. I'd love to know what hidden treasures you found after Fun showed up. Let me know how you are doing with your creative challenges. Leave a comment.


Russo said...

This is by far a lovely statement. I particularly liked, "This week's challenge is about learning how to play again at your art."

I really needed this post, I'll keep you posted on the fun challenges ahead, my friend.

densleyjazzfan said...

Bloggers been acting up. Cant leave a comment. Been fighting to gets my gnomes on.

Robin, theres no way I coulkd do what ya do. mad respect

Janiel Miller said...

Yep. Robin is amazingly strong and nervy and WOMAN. Love the idea of finding the play again. And I think it's about finding the right kind of play too. At least for me. There's all kinds of play that can leave me just worn out. Productive play. IN what you are doing. Great post.

Robin said...

I still have to work at playing. Sigh. At least 'play' is on my To-do list now. That's progress, right?

densleybrandis said...

I'm a new Robin fan. Scott-Scott, its time to start horseback riding now. I mean now. Pronto. No more whining like a baby.

CMSmith said...

How honest, relate-able, and inspirational. Thank you.

Romina Garcia said...

What an inspirational post.
I definitely need to get more fun into my day. If not for me, for my children's sakes.
A crappy mood does not a good mother make!

Maegan Langer said...

I needed this post! I'm always finding ways to subconsciously turn Fun into Work.