I recently read somewhere (completely unreliable) that J.K. Rowling once got fired from a job for daydreaming too much. It’s probably untrue, but I liked it. Made me feel like we have something in common.
No, I haven’t been fired for it, but I spend way too much time daydreaming. And I don’t just mean by The Man’s* standards. I’m constantly forgetting what I was supposed to be doing because my imagination has run off again, leading me away from the real world in the most wonderful and exciting ways. I eventually find my way back, but not always before I’ve burned supper or forgotten that I was supposed to move the laundry over to the dryer three hours ago.
Some writers call it research. I’m not sure I can even do that when most of it will never make it into a story. Oh, sure, letting my mind wander has taken me to wonderful places and introduced me to characters who I have written about. The voices in my head have provided random bits of dialogue that have showed up in stories. But there are worlds, plots, and people in my head who are never going to step out of it, either because it’s not a genre I care to write, the material’s a little too close to my heart, or the story just doesn’t have the kind of legs it needs to survive being exposed to the world.
I think that’s okay, too. Call it rehearsal. Call it exercise for that imagination muscle, or letting my muse stretch his legs. Call it being open to possibilities.
Whatever you call it, I think I’m going to stick with it. It makes me happy, and I think that’s worth burning the occasional pancake for.
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*”Damn the Man. Save the Empire.” -Lucas