The Need to Play

Does this feel like you?

You find an activity that playful, that’s fun, that serves no apparent purpose other than to be a joy.

Then you don’t do it because it isn’t producing anything.  No income stream.  No value.  No result you can point to at the end and say, “See?  I did this and it’s worthwhile.”

Why is it that adults have a hard time recognizing the importance of play?

Rosanne Bane (Around the Writer’s Block) calls this ‘Process’.  It’s where we do something, usually artistic but not necessarily so, that unlocks the brain with fun.  She says, “Process is about letting go of the demand that we need to always be Doing Something Significant.”  (p. 46-47)

Boy, it that ME!

I can’t remember the last time I engaged in something that didn’t have an assigned significance.  I write – to produce a product.  I edit – to polish said product.  I publish the product – to make money.  I market and promote – to point people to the product.  I take on freelancing projects – to supplement my writing income.

But where’s the play?

I’m going to try a little experiment.  Over the next few weeks, I am setting time aside to PLAY each day.  (If I don’t put it on the calendar, I know what will happen.  I’ll put something that DOES SOMETHING SIGNIFICANT over it.)  I’m not sure what I’ll do.

I like to crochet, so there’s that.  I have a mandala afghan in process.

I’d like to play with paints.  I might experiment with the extensive art set Dear Hubby gave me for Christmas years ago.  I’ve never dug into it.

I have a new camera, a smaller model I bought to avoid lugging the monster on an upcoming trip.  Maybe I’ll take photos for no reason other than they’re in front of my lens.

I’m going to make time for play.  Who’s with me?

Paying It Forward:  If you’re a creative of any kind (or have a struggle solving your resistance to almost any kind of activity, including exercise) I highly recommend Around the Writer’s Block by Rosanne Bane (  While she focuses her recommendations on writers, I bounced them off an artist friend of mine and she immediately related.  And I’m using it for exercise too, the bane (no pun intended) of my existence.

If you’ve read the book, I’d love to hear your take on it!

How do you make time (or give yourself permission) for play?  Please share your thoughts in the comments!


About The Author

Yvonne Kohano

Award winner and storycatcher Yvonne Kohano writes contemporary romantic suspense in her Flynn's Crossing series. She is also working on a psychological thriller trilogy, and producing nonfiction books with tips for creative types. In addition to running an indie press, Yvonne loves to cook (dedicated foodie), garden (plantaholic), travel (anywhere), and read and learn (anything). She, her husband and their dogs love their home in the Pacific Northwest. Follow her at and on Facebook and Twitter to learn what tickles her about being a writer.


  • Madeline Hess Olson

    February 24, 2018

    Thanks for sharing this, Yvonne! Love the afghan! And how like you that you already have at least two more “play”-type things lined up to do! Remember your gardening…that’s a creative, fun endeavor, too; once the sun shines and the snow melts in Oregon!

    My problem is the opposite. I tend to focus too much on the play aspects of my retirement (which I understand is fine; after all, I AM retired), but often as an intentional distraction from my writing. So maybe I need to turn that thing upside down for a while!

    • Yvonne Kohano

      March 3, 2018

      Maybe the writing is now part of your “play”, Mad! I look forward to the time when I too can call myself retired and do what I want when I want. I’m getting in the garden today, though, so life is good! Hugs – Yvonne

  • Loucinda McGary

    March 2, 2018

    love that mandala afghan!

    • Yvonne Kohano

      March 3, 2018

      Thanks Cindy! It’s an easy pattern – just takes a bit of concentration at times to count stitches. Would you like a copy of the pattern? Hugs – Yvonne