Daydreaming – Part of the Job

Daydreaming is important.

One of the frustrations of a day job, or of living with people, or just being around people is not being able to slip into a good daydream. Not just a five minutes ‘Wouldn’t it be nice if….’ moment, but a full on, complete immersion, totally lost in it, could be hours at a time, daydream.

I like to daydream by plugging myself into some music, and sitting on a bus, or walking in the park, or lying in the bath and just letting go. Some like white noise, and lying on the sofa. Some prefer silence. But what your daydream does is take everything to see and touch and hear and know and read and remember and want and works it all up into a personal fantasy for you.

But how do daydreams plug into writing? Well, on a basic level, you could just daydream your story. But if your daydream is about being a film star, or having a wild fling with a rock star, or slipping back in time to meet a queen, or fighting orcs in some wild lands, it’s still useful for your book. Because you are imagining people and places and words. That wild daydream of taking the ring to Mordor with Alice Cooper in a golf buggy (it could happen! Well, maybe not) may seem utterly irrelevant to your thoughtful and restrained book about stock market brokers, but what happens in your daydream can be transmuted into something for your book. Conversations about heroism or love or sacrifice can be lifted from a daydream to a book quite easily.

Daydreams exercise your brain. You wouldn’t run a marathon without training, daydreaming trains your brain to create in preparation for a full length story.

So, switch off the phone. Put on some music. Lie back, or get to the park, or find a seat by the window on a long bus journey and dream. And remember, if you think it’s a waste of time, it’s not. You’re a writer. Daydreaming is part of your job.

The House at Baker Street by Michelle Birkby

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