When I’m stuck in my writing, I cow race!

It is a happy talent to know how to play.
Ralph Waldo Emerson, writer


In last week’s post about using creativity, I already talked about playing with words when you are stuck writing. But when just tossing around words doesn’t help, and getting creative doesn’t do anything for your writing either, you just need to do something silly to break out of the funk of not writing.



The joy of Play


Imagine a writer. Let’s call her… Sylvia. She sits behind her desk in the year 2009. She wants to write desperately, but she keeps typing and erasing words. Finally she just walks away from the desk. Her total word count for the day is zero. And it doesn’t look good for the next day either.


Look at that same writer today. When she is stuck writing, she heads to the TV, turns on the WII, and starts the cow racing game in WII play.




She laughs her bum off trying to get her cow to break her high score, but as always the cow runs in the wrong direction, or bumps into a fence. After a couple of minutes of game play she heads back to her office and writes a couple hundred words. With a smile on her face and the giggle still bouncing around in her body.






We all need play in our lives, and this example from my own life just illustrates that. Play changes moods instantaneously, and playing a silly game like cow racing ensures mad giggles in ten seconds, probably even less. I am instantly brought back to my inner child. She gets me writing again. With all her zeal and joy she moves me beyond the anxiety I experience when words won’t come.


And as you can see in my example, I only need a couple minutes of play to get me writing again. Playing for a long time while you should be writing is another way to describe procrastination. Having procrastinating days is good for once in a while tho, I will explain how and why in another post.



Now over to you!


What silly game can you play to instantly get you into utter joy and fun?
How do you use games to get you writing again?



PS The title is pun intended. I wrote it and I saw myself stuck between words and giggled :)

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This entry was posted by Sylvia on Friday, March 4th, 2011 at 07:19 and is filed under Play . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


  1. PhoenixOne says:
  2. f_rancesca says:

    I do something quite different — sudoku. It uses a completely different part of my brain which lets the creative (and anxious) bit take a break — and when I come back to writing, I’m much calmer, more zen — and ready to try again. I might try cow racing though, next time I”m stuck!

  3. alberta ross says:

    play sudoku for same reason to ‘not’ create -or go onto farmville where I am creating an eco space of greenesss – with no fossil fuel just the sweat of my brow!!! – or lie prone in semi gloom and doze the words nearly always find their place in the peace of the gloom

  4. Julie Musil says:

    That’s so funny! I haven’t seen that game yet. When I’m stuck, I get outside and take a walk. Or I’ll turn on Netflix and watch a chick flick. Or like yesterday, I’ll take the day off and clean my house. It’s amazing how much I sort out while I’m vacuuming and dusting!

  5. Sylvia van Bruggen says:

    argh, I really should learn to not reply to comments through mail because none showed up :( Thanks for your responses!!!Francesca: Sudoku is one of my favorite games to play on my iPhone. It’s very relaxing to play indeed! Brings all those pesky thoughts to a halt. Cow racing is a lot of fun! :) Alberta: oh I farmville too, it’s my treat for when I’ve done my work for the day :) we should become neighbors!!!Julie: oh yes, cleaning the house always clears the cobwebs in my mind too :)

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