Daydream Writer   6 comments

When you are daydreaming, what do you dream about?

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Daydreaming is a controversial topic. When I was a kid, schools really hated daydreamers because they thought we wouldn’t learn whatever nonsense they were trying to teach us. Yeah, I mean you, Mrs. Fischer.

And apparently, some neuroscientists worry that adult daydreamers may fixate on negative emotions and harm themselves, so they suggest we don’t daydream.

Other neuroscientists point out that we’re more likely to be creative if we daydream and that some of the greatest leaps in human intellectual history may have been a result of daydreaming.

I think there’s merit to all three of these arguments, but I also see problems with all three. The fact is daydreaming is a great creative tool that can distract from the world around us and can lead us into dark places … or light places as well.

I love to daydream. I get a lot of writing done while I daydream. And my best daydreaming times are:

  • 1) when I’m trying to fall asleep at bedtime;
  • 2) when I first wake up in the morning;
  • 3) when I’m on a long car trip;
  • 4) when I’m doing something boring and mundane at work.

Seriously, the more boring the job, the more productive I will be at writing when I get home that night. Filing doesn’t really require a lot of mental effort, so why not put my brain to productive use?

I try to spend at least a half-hour stretching before I get up in the morning. There are health benefits to this, but I also tend to daydream/pre-write while I’m doing it.

I almost never fall asleep the moment my head hits the pillow, so why not use that half-hour or so to think about something writing-related?

Alaska is a big state and it takes 5-7 hours (depending on season) to drive from Fairbanks to the “big city” of Anchorage. And, while most of my attention is on the road while I drive, daydreaming keeps me from zoning out and potentially falling asleep at the wheel.

I don’t often plan what my mind will work on in the daydream state. It’s whatever my imagination wants to focus on. Sometimes it’s a conversation between characters. Sometimes it’s a beautiful scene of fantasy landscape. Sometimes it’s a character having an emotional rant about something that is unfair in his/her “life”. I welcome it. I embrace it. And then when I’m able to, I sit down at the computer and I transcribe it. Sometimes I’ve spent days working on something mentally and when I sit down at the computer, 2000 words will spill out in an afternoon. So, yes, daydreaming is highly productive for the writers among us. We only look like our minds are wandering.

Posted March 11, 2019 by aurorawatcherak in Blog Hop

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6 responses to “Daydream Writer

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  1. Yes, sometimes my job is boring too, and I tend to daydream. I used to get reprimanded at school for daydreaming too. Oh dear…


  2. I had to train myself out of daydreaming while I was driving. I’d “come back” miles down the road and have no memory of driving there.


    • I can see where that might be a problem. I’ve zoned out driving before and that is bad, but I don’t seem to do that when I’m “daydreaming.” My mind needs to stay active. Sometimes I even engage my characters in looking for moose along the side of the road. It’s kind of fun. My husband and son think it’s weird and our daughter totally gets it.


  3. You have to wonder if they don’t want the daydreaming because they don’t want the average person getting to think too much, and well… Spartacus! 🙂


    • Right. Conformity is easier to attain if we can force everyone to think alike and daydreaming might lead us to “scary” nonconformist ideas, and then what are we going to do if I can’t control you and you can’t control me? Dogs will start mating with cats and, OMG, the end of the world.


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