I’ve always been an avid daydreamer. I’d even go as far to say that I live in my own world most of the time. Daydreaming has often been scorned as being unproductive and useless, but it’s always been the source of many ideas for me. Ideas, clarification of stories, a way to listen to my muse. When I daydream, I get to sit down that granny with her thick glasses and listen to what she has to say over tea and ginger biscuits.
I was very happy to see this in The 25 for that reason:
In my writing classes, I devote a session to daydreams, which are spontaneous messages from our subconscious. After one of my presentations, a puzzled member of the audience raised his hand and asked what a daydream was. Others were surprised, but I wasn’t. Not everyone has a daydream-friendly mind. In fact, some people have been taught to repress daydreams as mere distractions.
As writers, however, we should not only welcome daydreams, but train ourselves to be aware of them. In fact, the cores of most of my novels have come from daydreams. Daydreams are our primal storyteller at work, sending us scenes and topics that our imagination or subconscious wants us to investigate. Each day, we should devote time (I usually do this before sleeping) to reviewing our daydreams and determining which of them insists on being turned into a story. Don’t push away those daydreams that make you uncomfortable: The more shocking the daydream, the more truthful about us it is. Embrace that truth.
Daydreams are a source of strength for writers. Take some time today to just let your mind wander. Give yourself up to that big Great Dane of a muse and let him drag you wherever he wants. It might open you up to possibilities you didn’t think of before or shine some light on an issue you’ve been having.
I decided to take a brief detour from my novel for a couple days and have been working on my first ever piece of flash fiction. I’m actually pretty excited about it. It’s a little over a thousand words, but I can definitely cut it. It’s nice and Halloween-y. I think it’s rather fun. I might enter it in a contest or submit it to a magazine. We shall see. I’ve never been much for short stories because I prefer having a few hundred pages to devote to characterization, but I’m really happy with how this turned out.
And now, gentle viewers, it’s time for me to head to work. Days like this I wish I had sick days — I actually am sick. Wish me luck not snotting on the customers.
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