Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Daydreaming

“Every exceptional writer holds a Master of Arts in Daydreaming.” ― Richelle E. Goodrich

Daydreaming gets a bad rap. In our culture, if your mind wanders, you are labeled lazy and unproductive, two of the worst things you can be called.

In her Tedx Talk Rosanne Bane, author of Around the Writer's Block: Using Brain Science to Solve Writer's Resistance, explains the importance of daydreaming.

Bane confirms that writers and other creative types need to daydream. Daydreaming is a different mind process from focusing on tasks. Daydreaming allows parts of the brain to connect that don't normally talk to each other during a task-oriented focus.

Bane suggests allowing yourself to daydream while you're standing in line at a store or other times when you might normally stare at your smartphone. I'd add meditation and writing practice to the mix.

In meditation, while sitting quietly attempting to focus on your breath, the mind is bound to wander because that's what minds do. They generate thoughts. Meditation is inherently creative. Ideas pop into the mind and solutions arise that can't be force by trying to focus on the problem.

Writing practice produces similar results. If you keep the hand moving and write down whatever thoughts arise, that too feels like daydreaming except the hand is recording it as it flows. Many conclusions come during writing practice.

Do you allow yourself to daydream? As writers, we owe ourselves what some might call this "guilty pleasure." If someone says you're dawdling, direct him to Rosanne Bane's Tedx Talk. Explain how deep daydreaming leads to realizations. Daydreaming is part of the writer's job!