There isn’t a lot I do just for the fun of it.
Remember swinging? You pumped and pumped your legs but didn’t get anywhere. What do you do that’s like that?
I just finished National Novel Writing Month. A not for profit of the same name encourages people to sign up to write 50,000 words of a novel in 30 days. “What happens if you don’t finish?” friends often asked when I lamented how many words behind I had slipped. “What do you get if you finish?” they asked when I celebrated a great day of writing. The answer to both was “nothing.” No great honors for winning, no fines for not finishing. It was just for the fun of it.
I’m sure it’s been good for my writing to put butt in chair and write most days. I’m sure my “sticktoittiveness” muscles got stronger. But the real reason, at least in the end, that I stuck to it is that it was fun.
Most of what I do has a “so that” attached. I exercise so that I can get in shape. I cook so that I can eat. Doing something just for the pure joy in it is the definition of play, and a critical part of Sabbath. It’s what children know how to do.
I want to finish my novel and go back and edit it. I’d like to see where the story takes me. I do have the occasional fantasy about what it would be like to have it published and be on the New York Times best seller list and get interviewed by Oprah…but if that’s why I continued to work on the story then I would have quit long ago. The “who do you think you are?” demons would have silenced me right from the beginning. Doing something just for the fun of it gives you permission to do it because it doesn’t have lead to anything meaningful.
Congrats on your HUGE accomplishment…that I’m sure was not “fun” all the time. 🙂
It wasn’t fun all the time — for sure. I suspect between now and next November it will get more and more fun.
Just for the fun of it, I used to write poems for particular occasions like retirement parties, etc. I got in the mood the other day to try my hand at a Christmas poem just for the fun of it, principally for the benefit of many my little friends. I sent it to Mary Schmich at the Trib. You might know her as a contributor who pens clever (and often humorous) poems from time to time. (In fact she has a long “looking back” poem in today’s (12/27/15) Trib.) Her reply “Well done, John! And with instructions on how to read it. Thank you.” I was flattered. I don’t expect to see it published, but I look for it every day.
December 10, 2015
By John Coult
(To be read slowly and with exquisite sensitivity)
SANTA’S DRESS REHEARSAL
‘Twas two nights before Christmas, when all through the house
One creature was stirring — little Brown Mouse
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care
In hopes that Brown Mouse could not jump way up there
The children were nestled all snug in their bed
While visions of sugar plums danced in Brown Mouse’s head
Brown Mouse and his mommy lay down for a nap
With no fear ¬that night of that bad old mouse trap
Brown Mouse then heard such a crash on the roof
He could only assume Santa’d made a big goof!
Rubbing his eyes just what did he see?
A sled pulled by reindeer, but there were only three!
He saw Dasher and Dancer, with only Rudolf up front
Santa yelled out “Who pulled such a stunt?”
No Prancer! No Donnor! No trusty ‘ole Blitzen!
No Comet! No Cupid, and not even Vixen!
Santa so angry he said to himself
“Wait’ll I get my hands on that elf!”
My prankster elf helper hitched only the three
No deerpower now to clear that big tree
Oh well, said Santa let’s give it a try
Hoping with three deer he’d still make ‘er fly
“To the top of the porch to the top of the wall!”
“Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!”
But sadly to say with only the three
He flamed out and fell on the top of the tree
But Santa quick gained his merry old self
And said “What a really good prank you silly ‘ole elf”
His eyes how they twinkled! His dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
He was heard to exclaim as he climbed down the tree
“I’ll be ready tomorrow, you’ll see! you’ll see!”
John, this is lovely. Thanks for sharing and keep writing!