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Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Creativity: Remember to Have Fun

Whether you write part time after your day job or writing is your day job, remember that creating something new should be fun. I’m reminded of that on a regular basis when I log into Twitter. One of the creators types I follow there is Debbie Ridpath Ohi. She is both an illustrator and an author as you can see in Where Are My Books.

Debbie tweets on a regular basis about the importance of merging fun and creativity. And she’s discovered a much more fun way to do this than simply typing a tweet. Check out the fun doodles she creates and posts in these two galleries - Found Objects and Broken Crayons. Debbie’s sense of fun and her commitment to play come through in these pieces and in her other illustrations as well.

Not an illustrator? That’s okay. This year I’m keeping a bulleted journal. I’m not going to claim that this journal holds pages and pages of hand written text. Mostly they are bulleted lists along with various found objects. It may not be your standard journal, but I am still journaling. I started in January so that’s at least 6 weeks longer than I’ve ever managed to journal before.

In my bulleted journal, I’ve experimented with pages and layouts. Some are purely utilitarian. I record what I need to on these pages but . . . really? They’re just blah. I don’t feel particularly inspired.

While I’m not an illustrator, I do like color and I like to play with fonts. So I’ve been doing that on my weekly to do list. Yes, these pages take a lot longer to set up but it is well worth the effort because I really do feel more creative.

Last but not least, it is also a lot of fun to be around other creative people. That was the inspiration behind Wool Gathering, my husband’s name for craft night at our house. I let friends know the date and time and everyone brings a dish to share and something they are working on.

One woman scrapbooks and alters books. We have several knitters who also crochet. There are people who bead, quilt and also paint. And, if you don’t feel like working on your current work-in-progress, coloring is always an option. Everyone left the first gathering discussing what they planned to bring to the next. Not only was it fun but the scrap-booker gave me a photo to work into a story.

Don’t let your creative time become all work. Engage in play. Get together with other creators. Laugh.

Wool Gathering. Word Crafting. The Spinning of Tales. It doesn’t matter what you call it. Just remember to play.


To find out more about Sue Bradford Edwards' writing, visit her blog, One Writer's Journey.  Sue is also the instructor for Writing Nonfiction for Children and Young Adults. The next session begins March 12th, 2018.


  1. Sue--Do you zentangle? If you don't, look up zentangle patterns. It's methodical doodling, and it's terribly addicting (at least I think it is).

  2. No? I've tried it and didn't find it soothing because it bothered me that mine weren't as pretty as the ones in the books. Obviously, I missed the zen part entirely.

    Maybe I should try it again. When I'm out of town. That's when new things often seem easiest maybe because I've broken my routine.

  3. This is a timely post, Sue. We have something called Explore Electives in my son's grade where they ask parent volunteers to lead extracurricular classes on Friday so the teachers can have a planning period. I offered to facilitate a small class on bullet journaling because it's something I've been wanting to learn more about and I can do it alongside the students! Hopefully we'll have at least a few kids who want to try it out.

  4. your title made me think--HA! But oh my gosh, you are so right. Sometimes, it is so hard to think of creative writing as fun. LOL Thanks for this!

  5. Yes! Remember to play, it's so important. "Wool gathering" made me laugh!

    I met up with Amy Tan at Live Talks last night and she was talking about the illustrations she draws on Facebook, and how drawing, specifically, helps a certain part of the brain grow and form connections. She said it was her preventative method against Alzheimer's, which her mom had. So there's another reason to engage in drawing and other creative pursuits!


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