Writing creatively is my favorite way to write. I don't have much time for it, though. 

And when I do indulge, production is a stodgy and plodding affair. I sit. I stand. I brew a cup of coffee, then delete a single comma. Then I put it back in. I sip my coffee, and enjoy myself immensely.
I write little, and I write slowly, so one might think I'd write with Serious Purpose--to advocate a noble idea, or resolve a personal conflict, or discover something new about an issue I thought I'd already figured out, as the demands of considered expression will make one do. But when I set out to write this way, I find I don't like the author all that much. He's self-righteous, or self-absorbed, or intricately pedantic. So, instead, I write to play. 

How lucky for me that it's in this journal, "of literature and sport," where I get to talk about the writer's endeavor as a game. In one as in the other, I've learned I can either fret about the stakes, psyching myself out of the action, or I can just say, "Game on!", trusting my creative faculties to zip, dodge, or linger where they will. And the Serious Purposes? It's funny but somehow, when I'm able to stay true to myself and the game, the important things manage to take care of themselves. I'm sure some readers out there who think deeply about sports can help me explain why. 

With a baby coming, I've been writing less and ruminating more, especially about what I want this little girl to know. I'm grateful for the time I've had creating prose, the things it's taught me that I'll one day teach her. If sport can be a metaphor for life, then the writer's endeavor is a metaphor for the life I want my child to live. The grind is reality. Reality is a beautiful game. What to worry about, really, just so long as we play fair, play with joy, play for the honest love of it all?

Jesse Cheng is from Southern California. Works are forthcoming in NANO Fiction and r.kv.r.y. His website is jesse-cheng.com.