As writers it is our “job” to play with words, sentence structures, and points of view. But as writers for children, it is our duty to play with the world around us. The holidays are approaching, and the publishing industry will take a pause. Could this be the perfect opportunity for you to step away from the desk and go establish a “play life” to fuel your writing life?
Some notable creatives credit their playful hobbies with keeping their well of artistic expression flowing and fresh.
In between composing jazz standards:
Miles Davis was an avid boxer and accomplished sketch artist.
Duke Ellington painted landscapes.
Louis Armstrong collaged with old concert flyers, programs, and photos.
Before and after writing classic literature:
Sylvia Plath tended to colonies of bees.
Emily Dickinson won baking contests.
Alice Walker still grows most of her own produce.
Research has also shown that engaging in hobbies outside of one's primary work or responsibilities can boost creativity. A study published in the journal "Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts" in 2017 found that participating in creative hobbies led to increased creative thinking and problem-solving skills. Suggesting that “playing” is not a distraction from writing, instead it is essential.
But no worries, I’m not suggesting you go to the local playground, frolic, and scare children. Unless that sounds like fun? There are plenty of ways adults and children at heart can find their perfect playscape.
Writing is a demanding and often solitary craft. And writing for young readers means we must constantly see the world from a perspective that is much different than our own. Playful hobbies become the perfect solution. Providing a break from writing problems, connecting us to a wider community, and helping us see the world through another lens. So, get out there (or stay in) and play. Your writing and your readers are depending on it!
Brentom Jackson is an award winning poet/writer, actor and psychotherapist in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. With poetic voice, theatrical flair, and socio-emotional expertise Brentom tells stories that explore the universal lessons within Black-American history and heritage. His debut picture book Elijah's Easter Suit with Doubleday/Penguin Random House is available for pre-order now. Follow him on all sociamedia @brentomjackson.
We are so excited to be mixing things up at CBA, beginning with some delicious additions to the Blogfish. Meet our awesome bloggers!!
Here's our lineup:
1st Mondays begin with awesome Aussie debut author and former student Amanda Lieber who will be focusing on Aussie kidlit.
2nd Mondays will feature super smart Melissa Stoller whose career is taking off with several new books.
3rd Mondays will feature our new blogger coming soon.
4th Mondays features new blogger, the fabulous Brentom Jackson, who has a beautiful approach to blogging.
And 5th Mondays we'll be taking a break