History That Never Was

Home of Dawn Vogel: Writer, Historian, Geek

Giving Yourself Permission to Play

I’ve talked before about the idea of “writing play,” in which you aren’t necessarily writing with an end goal in mind. But it’s a hard thing to do when you’ve got things you want to get done, and it’s especially hard if, like me, you often take on a lot at any given time.

I’m discovering it’s important, though, to sometimes just let myself play around with words. Maybe this will turn into a future project, but at the outset, the idea is just to have fun with words and see what happens when you to do so.

I took some time recently to go through some poems that hadn’t quite panned out, and I realized that there were some lovely gems hiding in amidst the rubble. So I pulled them out, wrote them on paper, and looked at them with fresh eyes. Maybe there’s something there. Maybe I’ll take all three of the ideas and find a way to mash them together. But pulling them out and looking at them without intent lets me see them through a different lens.

It’s also relaxing to poke at something without a goal for it. Maybe it will just end up being a page of scribbles in my notebook. Maybe it’ll be years before I come back to it and realize something completely different than what current Dawn would see in those words.┬áMaybe those words will never see the light of day outside of my notebook.

And all of these maybes (and likely dozens more) are perfectly fine options when you engage in writing play. Just let the play refresh you and lift some of your stress.

And then you can get back to the stuff that needs to be done.


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