“The thing that we really want to do is in the quiet voice, and it doesn’t get out very often.” ~ Suzanne Kelman
I was fortunate to get to speak with Suzanne Kelman, award-winning screenwriter, author, podcast host, actor, and director, about her experience, or rather lack of experience with play. As a woman who wears many, many hats, Suzanne has had to become very organized in order to get all the things done every day. But after years of being creatively productive, Suzanne had a coaching session with our very own Kerry Schafer, and what she learned in that session has dramatically changed the way she approaches her creativity and her schedule.
Listen to the Quiet Voice
One of the big take-aways I had during our chat was the idea of listening to the quiet voice. So often, we get busy busy in meeting deadlines, fulfilling other’s expectations, working our “day job”, doing the tasks of living, that we forget to stop for a moment and take a breath. Suzanne’s wise words reminded me to allow myself time to just be still and quiet, and that the busier I get the more important it becomes to take allow myself this time!
I believe that listening to the quiet voice is a skill that is imperative for a creative soul to learn and master. And to do so, we have to step outside of our busy expectations and allow ourselves to be quiet. That’s hard to do, especially when we’ve got emails pinging away, the phone ringing, kids begging for attention, our to-do list a mile long…that’s why I love Suzanne’s later advice to schedule this so-important time.
What a Few Minutes of “Play” Does for A Creative Soul
Just a few minutes of play, like my experience with free drawing a few weeks ago, can be enough to break us out of the cycle of stress and anxiety and allow us to deal effectively with the tasks at hand. For a creative soul, taking a few minutes to work on a puzzle, to color, to make a flower chain, can be enough to allow our deeper creativity to break through the noise of the day-to-day tasks we’re in charge of. Play can actually provide a new path to an elusive answer or solution.
“If we don’t take the time to dig deep, listen to the quiet moments, and nurture our creativity, our work gets more shallow and more shallow.” ~ Christina Delay
Schedule In Play
I love Suzanne’s advice to schedule in time for play. It hit me in the video that when we were kids, our lives were all about play – we had to schedule in the work! But as adults, that dynamic is flipped. Because we do have to work and we do have responsibilities and we do have deadlines to meet, it’s important that we schedule in time to play. Suzanne makes sure she takes herself on a play date at least twice a week – and I love that! And that leads us to…
A Creative Soul’s Playbox – On Wheels!
Another fantastic tidbit that Suzanne gave us is to have a to-go playbox that you can keep in your car or by the back door, full of things that you love but maybe don’t allow yourself to always enjoy. Maybe it’s playing with molding clay or watercolors, maybe knitting or a favorite song to dance to…whatever it is, keep it ready to be used in a play box to make sure that you can follow through on your play dates!
About Suzanne Kelman
Suzanne Kelman is the author of The Rejected Writers Book Club, Rejected Writers Take the Stage and The Rejected Writers’ Christmas Wedding. Her writing voice has been described as a perfect blend of Janet Evanovich and Debbie Macomber. Kelman is also an award-winning writer/screenwriter whose accolades include the Best Comedy Feature Screenplay award from the 2011 L.A. International Film Festival, the Gold Award from the 2012 California Film Awards, and the Van Gogh Award from the 2012 Amsterdam Film Festival. Born in the United Kingdom, she now resides in Washington State.