There’s one thing I would advise would-be writers and it’s advice that I don’t do myself and I should. And that advice is to take time to think. Sounds easy, but if you’ve got a job, a home and a family, then finding ‘me time’ to daydream about future stories is nigh on impossible.
Many moons ago, before I met my husband, before we got a home together, before we had kids, I had a lot more time to sit and think up stories (usually by staring dreamily out of a window). I just don’t do that now, well not to the same extent as before. I sometimes do it before I go to sleep or as I’m waiting for the train or other small pockets of time I might have during the day. Something will spark in my brain, I will think ‘hmm I like that idea, wonder where it’s going next’ and I will spend a little time musing over possible outcomes for the story or the character or the scene.
But it doesn’t happen nearly often enough. The kids will come in and want something (usually very loudly), a dog will need let out into the garden, the phone will ring or the train will arrive and I have to slot the daydreaming back into my head to be taken out and examined at my next five-seconds-of-free-time.
So, why is having daydreaming time so important?
Well, the simple fact is that without daydreaming, your brain just doesn’t have the time to create. If you stuff it full of whatever is on your mobile phone or tv or laptop, there’s no space left to muse and really think about things, there’s no place to make up stories. Daydreaming has been linked to creativity. It is believed that by daydreaming you are allowing your subconscious thoughts to come to the surface.
Of course, I’m not saying go out there and daydream all day. I’m just suggesting that you should make time every day to have a good old musing about stuff and let your imagination fly away with you. That could be in the shower or (better) a relaxing bath, when you are standing in line at a shop or just before you go to bed.
And don’t forget to take a note of your thoughts. I have loads of little notebooks stuffed full of ideas that have come to me as I daydream. I may never use all of them, but I will use some. And if you find yourself stuck for a storyline, flick through your notebook and be inspired.
Okay, so I’m going to finish up here. It’s 7.40pm UK time and I’ve got a couple more hours to go before bedtime… and daydreaming. Speak soon.