When will we start taking fun seriously?

It’s that time of year again. A sense of relief can be found in it no longer being January. But a sense of foreboding can be felt in the year that lies ahead. Looking back to January, most of us have probably (gladly) forgotten and relinquished our resolutions for 2018.

Things that would supposedly improve us. Things that would apparently make us happy and bring more enjoyment to our lives. It seems enjoyment and fun are rather like laughter – a serious semblance of science and psychology sits behind these sensations. Fun and play are the things that keep us sane, resilient and even creative…

So fun fuels creativity… did you hear that? Fun has a manifold impact on our writing lives and our writing. Yet even as writers, we would like to see ourselves embedded in our manuscripts, embedded in our creative pursuits, embedded in fun. It’s a lie – we know that can never be true at all times. Whether it arises from the so-called “writer’s block”, head fog or simply having too many competing demands, stress can ultimately stifle the story-lines of even the most resilient writers.

However, having fun means more than just play – spontaneity plays a role as well. So perhaps we also have to be creative and a little impulsive in finding play.

But this is all starting to sound like hard work… where did all the fun go? To take play seriously, maybe we all need to focus on the emotion, the journey, the exhilaration and the anticipation of fun first.

So what really is fun then? What does it mean? It has to mean different things for different people. I think fun has to be the celebration of new, novel and meaningful experiences – things that are funny and playful.

Yesterday afternoon, I went to McDonald’s… but I never go to McDonald’s. I can’t afford the calories, the food will make me feel bad, I’m too old for HappyMeals – all seemingly legitimate reasons why I should never go to McDonald’s. Before yesterday, I could not remember the last time I went there (…perhaps in Germany last year?). But, yesterday, McDonald’s was fabulous. McDonald’s was somewhere I would never go and would have no intention of visiting. But, after a tiring February week, it was exactly where I needed to be on Friday.

So right now, afternoon is rapidly turning into evening on a cold Saturday in London. I’m planning on going for an early dinner with some friends but after that…? I’m not sure – maybe something spontaneous, maybe something that might be fun…

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