Yes, you read that correctly. On the heels of my post “Writing Avoidance Behavior”, I’m advocating daydreaming.
Us writers, we make stuff up. And in order to do that, we need to spend time imagining things. I like to let my mind wander and try out new possibilities (like playing the game “what if”).
So I say, daydream away.
And not always about your latest storyline or characters. I usually get my best ideas or work out plot holes by thinking about nothing in particular. And, like magic, my mind conjures up a solution or story I didn’t know existed until that moment.
It took me a while to recognize this gift when presented. I have since learned to write it down – no negativity allowed. Shut down that critical voice, otherwise it will kill your precious daydreams before they have a chance to form into ideas.
So how many of us writers are guilty of what I like to call “writer avoidance behavior” or WAB?
Come on, we all know what this is.
It’s when you are sitting in front of your keyboard (or pad of paper) supposedly “writing” when you are suddenly struck with the desire to clean all the dirty dishes in your sink. Or maybe you must tackle that unfolded clothes pile you have been avoiding all week. Perhaps you are struck with WAB before you have even sat at your desk (or wherever you like to write).
My personal bad habit – pacing aimlessly around the house eventually nibbling on some snack I shouldn’t be eating. I mean, I’m not even hungry and I certainly don’t need the calories.
I’m more likely afflicted with WAB when I have to do an unpleasant writing chore like a query or synopsis. For example, I’m writing this post when I should be working on a synopsis for my work in progress.
As with all bad habits, the first step is awareness. For example, why am I standing over the sink drinking another cup of coffee I don’t need? Once you know you are in the throes of WAB, time to admit you have a problem. I usually issue myself a stern command – get your butt back in the chair and work!
Does it always work? Nope. Most times it’s enough, at least for me, to motivate me back to the task at hand.
I would love to hear how you tackle this problem. . . but only after you’ve done some writing. Because I don’t want to be a WAB enabler!