When you have deadlines, self-imposed or otherwise, working on anything but your WIP might seem like a bad idea if not a complete waste of time, but writing for fun can be extremely beneficial – to you as well as to your writing.
Writing for fun can include anything from a writing prompt to a brand new document where you just start writing and don’t stop until you’ve tired yourself out. Kind of like a child in a bouncy castle, but less energetic. More importantly, there’s no pressure to write well because you’re not ever going to show it to anyone! You can let go and write just because! How great is that?
I’ve said this several times on this blog already, but you’re not a machine. Chances are, if you continuously work on the same WIP without breaks, your mind will need a rest. You might feel like you should continue, but there’s only so much your mind can handle and forcing it to go on regardless is going to drive you into a deep pit very quickly. Now, you might not remember how to have fun, like me. But what if I told you that you can give yourself a much needed break from writing by writing?
Stay with me here.
Focusing on something different for a while gives your mind the break it’s earned, and it gets you away from your WIP for a bit – which means that, when you get back to it, you can see it from a distanced perspective.
What you write in that time can be the worst bit of embarrassing rubbish you’ll ever write – it doesn’t matter. In fact, that’s why you do it! To recharge, and go wild! You don’t even have to hang on to it if you don’t want to. I have a folder called The Trunk, where I keep everything I’ve written spontaneously which will likely never be read by another person. Or I hope not, anyway. You don’t want to see the abominations I’ve stashed away in there; the ones that put your 3am ideas to shame.
But sometimes, rarely, you find a gem. Sometimes you just start writing from nothing, and the nothing turns into something more. Something exciting. And before you know it you’ve got a 15K draft to come back to when you’re done with your current WIP (more on that next week… *ahem*).
Did I mention it’s fun to write without fear of being judged? Because it’s pretty fun!
Either way, writing just for yourself is a great way of recharging and giving your mind a rest. You’ll return to your WIP from a distanced standpoint, you’ll have untangled the knots that made it impossible to spot the paradoxes in your draft before, and hopefully you’ll have had fun doing it, too! Perhaps you’ll even have a new exciting WIP to come back to.
But that doesn’t matter. The only thing that does matter is to go nuts!
Have you tried writing just for yourself, only for the heck of it? How did it go, and would you recommend it to declutter your WIP-focused mind? If you haven’t- what’s holding you back? Make some tea, dunk a cookie, and let’s chat!
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