Go Play. Seriously.


Here it is: your permission to take a day off.

Stay in your pjs and binge-watch Game of Thrones or make chocolate cookies and eat two (at least).  Finish a book, or start one. Walk the dog or take a nap, ride a bike or shop for new shoes. Set the table with a fancy cloth and candlesticks, plant petunias in the yard, or practice your putting.

Yeah, I know. Who am I to say it’s okay to play instead of work?

Think of it this way: I’m not really the one giving you permission. YOU have to do that.

But if you have trouble letting go of whatever you normally do from 9 to 5, I’m here to cheer you on, because I have the same problem.

Yet we’ve gotta play sometimes. Too much work doesn’t light any sparks under your writing. In fact, fatigue and stress and pressure throw a bucket of cold water on inspiration, and it melts away, Wicked Witch-like, and disappears.

Right now, I’m in a good spot. I’ve got work to do, but I’m ahead of schedule, so I took a play date.  I spent a few hours sewing, and I made the little cupcake pincushion you see here. It’s based on this one, created by Vanessa Goertzen, a quilter and fabric designer who blogs at Lella Boutique.

(Unfortunately, no one replied when I wrote to ask if there was a pattern, so I improvised. I used cardboard for the base and a fabric cylinder for the body. Pink rickrack trim and felt flowers stand in for icing and decorations.)

It’s not perfect; actually it’s kinda lopsided, like most of my real cakes. But I loved the fabric colors (it’s Moda’s Into the Woods), and I had fun making it.

I admit, most of the time, I feel guilty about playing, as if the only good day, the only valuable day, is one that results in a paycheck.

But that’s soooo not true. I’m learning that if you want to live a creative life, you have to let yourself off the hook sometimes. Making a pie or making a pincushion, stringing beads or baking bread are all worthy pursuits that can re-fuel your spirit and help you become more productive in the long run.