When my storytelling partner and I used to do storytelling workshops and residencies we came to the realization that much of what was done was play. Now, from our point of view, it was play with a purpose. But. For the kids it was play. Lots of games that had them writing, socializing, writing, developing stories and their literacy skills. And I also realized it was also creating a safe atmosphere of risk taking. Recently I've starting taking a couple of courses for the daycare I am teaching at. One of them is on play in early education. It is bringing back many memories of the games we played in our storytelling workshops, but not only that. It is bringing back many memories of the writing games I used to play before I would settle in for the "work" of writing/revising/critiquing etc. Somewhere along the line I stopped. Not enough time. Hearing others say that it was something they never do and that they thought it was a waste of time (now there's a newbie mistake--assuming that advice and thoughts on certain processes are all encompassing). For them it probably was, because it just did not work. For me it worked. It loosened up my thoughts, created new ideas, helped me work out of tight spots in the writing, but more importantly it was just plain fun to do. I was playing.
Take listen and watch of this TED TALK (oh how I love those).
SO! I am returning to playing each day. Doodling, writing out first lines just for the fun of it. Taking characters out of the story I have them in and throwing them into another situation/book/story. For example what would your character do it he she ended up in THE HOBBIT? Help Bilbo? Want to go? Want to get out and get out fast?
Off to ponder what Happy would do it she woke up to find herself in THE HOBBIT. Besides looking for ghosts, that is. Looking forward to hearing from you and where you'd put your character.