Friday, June 11, 2010

Fun, I dare you.

Fun lurks in some unusual places. In the 'spilt milk' of life if you like. The best fun is actually the most unexpected. 

Like writing. 
I started pouring out my words because there were things inside desperate for a voice. Like my muted soul. It wasn't until the voice had words that I discovered something I might have otherwise missed.  This thing called words was fun. Sure my story was sad and the little girl that was me suffered, but fun was something I once grabbed onto and carefully stitched into every available moment. Like taking my mother's tin foil into the garden to make fairy swimming pools. If I knew how to do this thing called fun as a child, why did the adult in me think anything had to be so serious?

Fun started creeping back into moments that weren't really anything to laugh about. Like losing all my friends. But fun can be had in the dryness of long baked loneliness. Fun can be had even if you least expect it. In fact, it should be had if you least expect it. Some of my best fun has been had on my own. 
I started noticing the joy in being by myself. That I was pretty cool to hang out with. 

Fun can also be had in the thunderstorms of  togetherness. If you can make each other laugh, nothing is lost forever.

Here's the thing. Fun is something you have on the way to happy. It is something you have on the way to all your goals and dreams. It is not an end destination. It is a side road. A detour.  Because life is not an end destination. You never arrive. Even if you pen the most amazing book ever to be read by mankind, you have not arrived. Even if it is perfect. Even if Hemingway himself is rolling over in his grave bemoaning your greatness, you are not at the pinnacle of living. If you keep child like fun in your heart you will also maintain the innocence of learning right up until your last breath leaves you. Because that is what fun is. It is the perspective that life can be lived better if you find a way to smile, a way to grow and a way to stop being so damn serious. Fun is not at the bottom of life and it is not at the top. It is all the way up and down the ladder.

Nothing is the be all and end all. And I should know. I have been very close to the 'end all.' Fun is both the lift raft and the jumping castle. 

Our writing matters. We want it to be the best it can, but if it ceases to be fun I think we have lost the point. Being able to craft words into those magical things we call books is a gift, but we take ourselves too seriously if it stops being fun. 
Find fun in the cracks. In the darkness. In the waiting and the uncertainty. Because all life is uncertain. And I have always believed that a little crazy fun is the sanest thing to have.
Fun is a perspective, not a set of circumstances.

When faced with agents and editors at a recent conference I started to freak out. Until I remembered the fun. I got to meet with some amazing people. I got to pitch my book. I got to focus on nothing but writing and words for a whole glorious week. Now if that is not fun, I don't know what is. I sat opposite these 'gate keepers of the literary world' and thought... FUN!
Why not?

Ever heard the saying, 'Life's too short'?
It is not. Life is just long enough. It depend how you use it. I depends how much fun you plan on finding in all the moments that connect the dots of your life. 

So where ever you are on this writing journey. Where ever you are on this wild ride we call living, make some fun. Really. Rub two sticks together and see what happens. Sing in the rain. Dance on the doorstep of ruin. See how much fun can be had when everything around you says fun has left the building. I dare you. I triple dare you. Go throw some fun around. It's a fine day for living.

SO, What about you? Care to share some fun?

[The photo is of my three year old, Cyrus. He knows all about FUN]


  1. Ah, I love it :D Totally love it. And so true, if it's not fun, you're not doing it right.

  2. It's SO important to remember to have fun! My daughter was getting ready for her dance recital last week and spend two hours fussing over her bangs not being right (she gets her perfectionism from me) and finally I went up and reminded her she's in the show to have fun, and her hair doesn't really matter. I'm planning to have lots of writing fun this summer!

    First time I've visited your blog, but I like your book list!

  3. Thanks Wen.

    and welcome Andrea. Your advise to your daughter was spot on. Wise Mommy :)

  4. This post is for me. You didn't know that did you? But I am much less serious than I use to be.

    I told a friend the other day who is going to show her four- three-year-olds (horses) for the first time that she needs to take and deep breath and enjoy the journey. I follow that advice much more these days.

    Cyrus is sooooo cute.

    Great post.

  5. This morning, while toasting my English muffin, I sang "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do" in a stodgy British accent. I've also been known to sing "Don't They Know It's The End Of The World" in pidgeon English like a Chinawoman.

    I probably need serious therapy lol.

  6. Woot! Thanks for this morning reminder! I needed it. I'm glad you discovered fun with yourself. I like myself too. lol
    Cute pic!

  7. I love to play Spanish music really loud in the car with my kids and roll down all the windows so everyone can see me. Aka: I love to embarrass my children. ;)
    ~ Wendy

  8. Beautifull put!
    I'm still trying to reorganize my life and my routine after my dog Romeo died, and this is something I'm realizing. And right now I can't imagine being "happy" again, but even in my despair I've still managed to have some "fun" moments.
    I love this post!!

  9. You are so right, Tab. I tend to get way too serious. This weekend is all about fun for me. I'm singing twice at a health fair on Saturday, then going to a pool party on Sunday. Even tho' the singing is work as well, it's also a blast. Thanks for this timely reminder.

  10. I do set aside for just fun and experience. It really is what keeps you going.

  11. That is one adorable toothy boy grin there. We definitely should look to our kids for all that childhood fun and join in with them. :O)

  12. Tabitha, thank you for this post! I have two HUGE things coming up this summer, things that intimidate me but are still wonderful, amazing things. The closer they get, the more I find myself worrying even though I know I am supposed to go to these things and even though I know they're going to be wonderful.

    I don't want to miss out the fun of both of them because I'm too nervous or scared. I'm going to keep reminding myself that life is short and opportunities aren't always going to be there and I should make the most of the ones I have--not only that, enjoy them!

  13. Lovely writing, as always. I'm in complete agreement with you, and I look for opportunities to laugh in just about everything. Cyrus is as cute as it's possible to be, and the perfect poster boy for fun. Love.

  14. First I want to say I love the name Cyrus. Such a noble name. This post is exactly what I needed to hear. Writing stopped being fun for me lately. Not sure why but after reading such an inspiring post I need to recapture the magic of word play and new worlds. My life is so serious these days and you have reminded me greatly to step outside the gloom and have some fun!

  15. Lovely words. Thank you for the reminder. Your son is precious. He looks like he's having tons of fun :)

    Happy weekend,

  16. I couldn't agree more and am doing just that!

  17. LOVE this post. Especially the part that say, "Life is just long enough." and that we need to use the time we have. I couldn't agree more.

  18. Nice blog, check this site out too for poems and stories :)

  19. I'm gearing up for the best fun~ a new baby! Life is rich with wonderful moments Tabitha, you nailed it girl!

  20. Love it! what a great reminder! Such a beautiful thing to remember when we start mounting the pressure on our shoulders. I'm writing the rough draft of novel #5 and am having quite a fun time with it!

    I answered your pregunta on my blog...but to save you the extra trip. I'll answer it here too. I'm pitching to editors, not agents, at ACFW. RG is going to keep pushing the ms's that are out to publishers right now and I'm going to try to finish my current wip so I can pitch to some editors Rachelle recommended I meet with. I think face-to-face time is always a good thing.

    Happy Friday girl!

  21. Today I went to an ice cream party and twirled sparklers in a blue June night. It was so fun!

  22. Tabitha, what a lovely post this is! You are so right. Life IS too short to make it shorter by worrying. Thank you for reminding me that I need to stop and smell the roses and love me for me!


  23. I adore the sweet abandon and joy you exude in your posts. And to have fun along the way.

    PS: Love the idea of tin foil fairy swimming pools! I think I know what's our agenda tomorrow...

  24. Gosh I love the way you write!!!! Your post just inspired me. It's time to have some serious F-U-N.~

  25. My husband and I panic if we are in situations that can seriously lead to depression.We know the warning signs now,both having a sense of fun and the ridiculous. "Whew that was close" we say. "Almost lost my silly". Stay clear of people and places that try to take it away.Rejoice in the company of those that encourage it.My fun this weekend? Silly family photos with dear husband and daughter. I will look back on today's photo efforts in later years and they'll still make me laugh.The loveliest of memories.

  26. hey! welcome back! I missed you.

  27. Beautiful, true words--and cute pic!

    I love that you made fairy pools out of tinfoil. I used to make cars out of candy tins for some little toy bears I had!

    Yay that you went to a conference and pitched your book! And had fun doing it!

    Go Tabitha!

  28. You and your writing are beautiful, Tabitha. I'm always so impressed.

    Once when I was a teenager my mom and grandmother took my 4 cousins and I to NY. We saw a show and when we came out it was pouring rain and Times Square was almost deserted. We took off our shoes and walked barefoot, splashing mucky street water onto our dresses. I'm pretty sure you shouldn't usually walk barefoot in NYC, but it was awfully fun.

  29. You wrote this so well. It is the message I need to hear today. I'm a little down being alone right now. On the other hand, I do have fun on my own. I listen to music that I like and experiment in the kitchen, and have time to just think. It's all part of the journey. Journey on! And, how fun to meet agents and editors.

  30. Well said, good lady! *applauds*

    I was on the train yesterday, rocking out to music on my iPod. It hit the spot in the song I was listening to that ALWAYS makes me want to move, so I did. Move, that is. I kinda boogied down in the doorway as I was waiting to get off.

    What the hell? I thought. May as well enjoy myself while I'm in the mood to.

    So I, um, agree with you. You rock. :)

  31. A glass of wine amongst friends late at night. THAT'S fun! :)