I didn’t do much real work during the first half of this week. I was too busy daydreaming. For nearly the entire day Monday and Tuesday, I only did mindless tasks which allowed my imagination to wander. It felt great indulging in my make-believe world. I immersed myself in an entirely new setting as different people. I felt anticipation when the characters in my head were on an adventure. I felt sadness, love, and a number of other emotions my characters felt as the story progressed. These are the sensations I strive for when I write. But I didn’t write any of it down.
So was Monday and Tuesday a complete waste? Today I can’t remember every detail of the story I daydreamed about. Part of it is lost, as is some of the emotional impact. In fact, I am now bored with the story and am no longer inspired to write it down. As a writer I should know by now how to harness this inspiration when it comes over me and use it constructively to write. But sometimes I just want escape without the burden having to sit at my desk and write it down (in other words, work).
Although I didn’t write anything down, I don’t feel these days were a complete waste. I remember enough of the story that I can file it away in my brain and bring it back again on another inspirational day. And I feel like I’ve really developed the story and the characters. When I first started daydreaming, everything was vague. The characters were wishy-washy molds of clay waiting to be sculpted. But as my mind wandered and the tale progressed so did the development of my characters. I feel like I know who they are now. I know how they think and how they will react to various situations. Everything came to life in my mind and I now feel that when I do write it down, it will be easier to bring it to life on paper too.
I do this daydreaming thing a lot. I’ve been doing it since I was a child. When the real world got tough, I daydreamed another little girl named Julia who was stronger than me and was able to stand up to the injustice surrounding her. It helped that she had a unicorn/Pegasus that flew to her rescue whenever she needed it. When my sister Julie was born, I had to develop a new character. (I was jealous of Julie and couldn’t very well have a hero with nearly the same name.) The new character was a boy this time. Over the years, I’ve developed a number of different characters. They fought injustice in various fantastical themes including medieval, the Crusades, Renaissance, colonial, western, modern, sci-fi, etc. I now have more stories in my head than I could ever possibly have time to write down.
Does all this sound crazy? Am I the only one who does this? Do you other fiction writers find yourselves daydreaming your hours away? Does it help you in writing fiction?