At Play


Sometimes it gets tricky with unstructured time. I have all these other things I want to do outside of work. I want to visit with friends, hang out with a new friend, spend time reading, carve out space for running and swimming and biking and hiking and doing yoga, cook, write, dream, take photos, drink coffee and wine at the beginning and ending of the days. Then there are the chores like cleaning the bathroom, folding laundry, paying bills, and clearing out the car. I’m also at work on a book and a professional certification, both to do in my free time.

Weirdly, I have a new weekly deadline that is making me more productive in my free time. I recently became a blogger for a new website (the website will be unveiled in August and I’ll share the links) and the deal was weekly blog posts due on Fridays. It’s amazing how an external deadline (and a new fresh slate) can help with productivity and assist me with structuring my unstructured time.

I am lucky in that I love my job (even if I don’t imagine myself in this particular profession long-term), so when I look forward to my “weekends” it is more about the joy of unstructured time, rather than an escape from work.

A few years ago, I read an interview of an actress-playwright. I had just seen a local community theatre play and the article was inspiring. Writing a play was new to the actress, but she had found inspiration for creating something in her downtime from acting gigs. She enjoyed the creative process that was coming solely from her, instead of having to wait for good parts and good writing and actually getting the “right” acting gigs. At the time, writing a play sounded fun and inspiring. Immediately, I went to the local used bookstore and found a couple of books of plays by well-known playwrights. I read three plays and brainstormed, but soon the two books of plays made their way back to my dusty bookshelves.

Recently, I have been thinking about writing a play again. I love the word play. It brings me to childhood and freedom. When I went to play for recess, I wasn’t worried about slotting time for the swings and the slides and the teeter-totter and the monkey bars. I followed instincts and playmates.

In the last week or so, I dusted off the books of plays and read a couple of them. I just ordered a book on writing plays from my local used bookstore to better understand the structure and function of a play. I decided it was time to add more play to my repertoire. I think it’s fun to try and write and be free. It helps to not be attached to the results or the creative process. It’s fun to try something new and different.

Play is fun and unstructured and free. I have only seen two handfuls of plays in my life. There is much to learn and try and do. It seems appropriate to add both play and a play to my creative and unstructured pursuits.

What would you add to your play time? Do you have play time? What are you dying to pursue regardless of results?

4 Comments

  1. Good luck with your play and play writing! I do have playtime; the only problem is I spend it drifting along accidentally from thing to thing and rarely spending it as I really want to. Not bad choices, just not the best choices. (The internet is not necessarily the friend of the ADD person who is interested in everything. :-/) Anyway, working on that, too!

    1. Thanks, Donnie! Drifting can be okay, too. Don’t be so hard on yourself. It does help to put down the phone and turn off the computer for some real down time. It’s cool that you’re interested in lots of things. Enjoy your varied and wide interests!! 🙂 Who knows what will come of the playwriting. It’s fun to try something new. Thanks, always, for reading and commenting!!

  2. I have play time at some juncture every day. I have attended four onstage plays during my natural existence with three being Shakespearean. Playwriting can unleash the creativity in all of us. The closest I come to writing s script is making notes in my daily planner and entering journal notes into a notebook so as to record an activity completed or a function that has to be accomplished in the future.

    Good luck with your playwriting.

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