As a freelance writer, I spend a lot of time creating content for other people. Whether it’s for their blogs or websites, it keeps me busy and focused on what my clients need. While I’m extremely grateful for all the opportunities in my life, I recognize that writing for fun is something I need to take more time to do. Because, if I don’t I risk this hobby becoming a profession and a job that I feel dragged to do, rather than getting excited about it every day.
Surprisingly, writing for fun hasn’t always been the easiest habit for me to maintain. I’m easily distracted by catching up on the latest sports news or checking social media. Instead, I know I should create space where I can just write about whatever I’m passionate about. In this article, I’ll explore some ways in which you can follow your passion to make writing for fun an easy, sustainable habit.
If writing for fun is what you do best and you don’t feel like this article applies to you, don’t worry! I’m not offended. But don’t leave so quickly! I’ve got plenty of other content you might enjoy, including Book Reviews, Writing Tips, and My Books! If you’re looking for a freelance writer to contribute guest blogs or ongoing paid content, please read through my Services and shoot me an email detailing your project!
Morning Meditation, Then Writing
I’ve known about the benefits of meditation for some time now. According to Mindworks.org, meditation can help with stress management, anxiety reduction, decreasing the likelihood of depression, increase immune function, lowering blood pressure, improving sleep, relieving symptoms of IBS, and increasing happiness and general well-being.
That’s a host of benefits I’d like to take advantage of, but how does it apply to a writing habit. As I write this today, I’ve recently found more success with a daily meditation habit than ever before. I’m going on 26 days in a row meditating in the morning, and one of the additional benefits I’ve found is that it gives my mind freedom in the morning to go where it chooses and think about what it wants. In doing so, I sometimes feel that the urge to write down those thoughts immediately upon completing my meditation.
This leads to intense sessions of passionate writing about a variety of subjects. But without the meditation to start things off and allow my mind the freedom to wander, I start thinking about all the tasks that I’m going to accomplish that day and I can’t clear enough mental head space to make writing for fun a regular habit. Of course, it’s important to set aside enough time after your meditation to allow you to put thoughts on paper. Otherwise, you’ll get up and immediately move on to the next task that has to happen before you go out the door.
Writing to Friends and/or Family
Once in a while when I realize I haven’t talked to a friend or family member for too long, I like to sit down and write that person a letter. It’s all for fun, of course, but it’s a great way to practice that specific type of communication, which I feel is quickly becoming a lost art with how easy it is to communicate over the Internet today. Handwriting letters makes you slow down and more critically evaluate what you truly want to say. Unlike typing out an email, the flow of handwriting somehow makes me craft messages that are much deeper, more emotional, and, ultimately, more truthful.
I can’t quite explain why there’s such a difference between handwriting and typing, but I suppose it’s all in the process. Because handwriting simply takes longer to put each letter and each word down on paper, it gives us more time to think things through so that we ultimately say something that we’re truly passionate about saying.
If there’s someone you’ve lost touch with for a while, write them a handwritten letter. Explore a mutual memory that you both shared (and that you both probably haven’t thought about for a while) or simply craft a letter that updates them on where you are in your life, what’s going on, and what you’re looking forward to. In addition to helping you reconnect with a loved one, this will also give you great practice sharing your stories!
Writing a Letter to Your Future Self
Many of us did this practice when we were in grade school. We wrote a letter to our future self and then placed it in a time capsule for our future self to discover 5, 10, or 20 years down the line. Wherever you are in life, this practice is a way to write for fun and share some recent lessons you’ve learned so that your future self doesn’t forget them.
Choose the ‘future self’ that you want to write to. Are you writing to yourself just one year in the future or 10 years down the line? What challenges do you foresee for your future self? What words of advice can you give your future self to overcome those challenges and stay happy and healthy?
This practice will innately make you evaluate your passions and form a vision of where you want to be in the future. If your version of your future self isn’t following those passions, how will your letter impact him or her to get back on track? If you ARE following your passions, but struggling to make ends meet, how can your letter offer that extra bit of motivation that your future self needs to stay the course and keep moving forward?
It can be a powerful exercise, especially if you set up a system so that the letter comes back to you when you are that future version of yourself you once wrote to. Maybe you can find a friend who will mail the letter to you down the road. Or maybe you can simply put it in a lock box and remind yourself to look at it again in a few years!
Crafting Your ‘Dream’
Have you ever sat down and wrote out your dream? No, really! This would include everything you want your life to look like if you had everything you wanted. Don’t be shy. You can dream as big as you can imagine. In fact, your imagination is critical to your ability to dream big. According to some researching, dreaming is important for both memory consolidation and conflict resolution.
In other words, dreaming can help us resolve past conflicts while also helping our subconscious brains reorganize memories so that we have space to create new ones. Think about this: if we don’t have space to create new memories, then what are we doing? Well, we’re probably just living a monotonous life in which each day looks eerily similar to the past. Ever heard of the movie Groundhog Day?
Writing about your dream will help you come up with tangible steps you need to make to actually bring that dream into reality. It will help you better understand the challenges you may face so that you can tailor solutions to those challenges. And, if anything needs to be laced and laden with your sincerest passion, it’s writing about the future you want to create for yourself and for those you love.
Exploring an Alternate Universe
Have you ever wished you lived in an alternate universe? Well, writing for fun is a great chance to explore that universe. What would our world look like in that universe? Who would be President? Would there even be a President? What would your parents look like? How would you dress and act in that alternate universe?
These are just a few examples of the elements to consider when constructing your own alternate universe. Your creativity can really run wild with this one, and your passions are bound to show. If you want a world in which everyone perpetually has ice cream stocked in their freezer, you can create it. If you wish your world had literal money trees lining the streets of suburbia, have fun exploring what those trees would look like!
The practice of exploring an alternate universe is a definite way to write for fun. If it’s not fun, then you’re probably not creating a universe that you’d actually enjoy living in. And even that could be an interesting exercise in and of itself. What challenges would you overcome as the hero in an alternate universe where humans are on the brink of extinction?
Are You Writing For Fun?
I hope you enjoyed these brief ideas designed to help you follow your passion and make writing for fun that much easier. These suggestions are merely data points to start from. The real exploration begins after you finish this article and you pick up pen and paper. I can’t wait to see what you come up with!
As a published writer who aspires to create more works of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry in the years ahead, I’m constantly in search of new ideas that help me hone my writing skills and get thoughts on paper. But I also recognize the importance of writing like there’s no one watching (or like no one is ever going to read it). This process helps us get our sincerest thoughts out there and to remain passionate about writing as a hobby.
Please leave a comment below if you are inspired, perplexed, saddened, or angered by any of the stories presented above. I welcome any and all comments and will do my best to respond hastily. I’d also encourage you to share this with others if you found it particularly insightful or helpful. Be sure to tag @ballisterwriting on Facebook or Instagram if you do!
Have Fun With It!