We are starting our Artist’s Way workshop, Session III, over at the Writer’s Retreat. I’m excited. I find that I create more, both in terms of writing and textile arts, when I am working through the exercises. The focus on play is enormously helpful to me.

I think that living in a Puritanical culture really drums it into our heads at a young age that play is frivolous. It’s sad. Robert Louis Stevenson even felt so, and wrote an essay, “An Apology for Idlers.” It’s a fun read. In it, he postulates that ‘idlers,’ as he calls it, have time to sit and think about life and philosophy, which he feels is a noble pursuit. The endless questing after more things to do is, in his estimation, one of the ills of society.

I think he’s right.

I also think the idea “keep the drama on the page” is useful to us, particularly ‘us’ artists. We are creative beings and that creative impulse needs expression, either in the world or on the page (or canvas, or stage…). It’s when we don’t create that we are at our most poisoned; bludgeoned by duty, seen to be virtuous, we are instead hollow shells.

So take a moment to think about your art. What is it? Is there some small piece of it you could play with today, just for fun? Even for 15 minutes?

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