Auburn Seal knows the value of taking things seriously and having fun while you do it.
She's a writer and mother, and applies this strategy liberally to both of them. On her new blog site, Indie Scribblers (which she started with fellow writer Amanda A. Allen), she welcomes people with:
We are crazy-Dr. Pepper-drinking-fiends that take our writing seriously, but ourselves…well…not so much. So, while we are dead set on producing good quality writing, that is edited professionally...and wrapped in a lovely, well-designed cover….it’s important that you know that really, at the heart of us, we are giant goofballs. Which is why this is SO much fun.
I love it.
And this is what Auburn has to say in response to my question, what play and fun other grown-up people have kept in their lives and why:
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One of the words I hear most when someone is asked to describe me is FUN. Sometimes I hear CRAZY but I ignore that. Over my adult life (I’m closer to 40 than I feel) I have struggled, as a lot of people do, to figure out who I am. To find a way to be more comfortable in my own skin.
I hate to cook. But I tried to force myself to enjoy it. Mistake. That was like trying to shove a square peg into a round hole. Not the best plan, that.
For years I resisted the idea that my main talent in life was being fun. But no more. I have spent enough time around people who are so FAR from fun that I realize it’s really not so bad to be a little fun. Even crazy.
By embracing what came naturally to me, I freed myself up to ENJOY life. I said farewell to the mold that others said I should fit into and just accepted that I am who I am. So instead of scrambling around trying to figure out what people thought I should be, I had all sorts of time to develop who I already was. I gave myself permission to explore my world, to be creative and experimental and to PLAY.
For example, I love change. In my circle of friends and family, that made me irresponsible and reckless. When I accepted that I am wired to thrive in ever-changing environments, I gained the freedom to explore new heights, new worlds. In my books. And in other places too.
As a writer, I can create a character to be whoever I want her to be. I can write about exotic places or made-up places. If I don’t like the law of gravity, fiction allows me to get rid of it. It’s not that useful anyway, right? For me, writing is my play time. It is how I indulge my whims and crazy plots. (Haha…accidental pun.)
Other ways I play…eating out. Trips, trips, trips. Short or long, near or far..it doesn’t matter. Just so long as I can change the scenery whenever I want/need to. When I can’t take trips in real life, I watch TV or movies that take me away. Or read books that allow me to escape.
We all need outlets. Healthy people (in my not-so-expert-opinion) must have a way to vent. To sluff off the stress of the world. We have bills to pay and mouths to feed. Cars to clean out and laundry to fold. (Unless we are lucky enough to have maidservants) As adults we stare down the barrel of responsibility constantly.
So it’s my theory that we MUST seek out opportunities to PLAY. Whatever your definition of playing is. And don’t let anyone tell you how it is that you should have fun. Takes the fun right out of it. And I’m nothing if not fun!
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Auburn's first book, Roanoke Vanishing, is coming later this year. It's a work of historical fiction with a supernatural element, in which a young woman discovers a living connection to the Roanoke, VA colony of mystery and legend. For more Auburn, here's her website.
Amber Michelle Cook's Blog
A call to all grown-ups everywhere: Play!