Friday, October 15, 2010

Happy Writers Society: Daydreaming

Welcome to yet another installment of Happy Writers Society! The club house is so busy these days that I've considered building a tree house in the giant oak outside. There would be old carpet stolen from the neighbors who are remodeling, and some of those lawn chairs that fold in on you if you sit in them wrong. It would be VIP only, though, so don't get too excited.

I'd also like to invite any HWS members to guest post here on Fridays! If you have a happy writing message to give, please, relieve me of my club president duties and take over the mic. You can e-mail (see sidebar) your articles and I will let you know if you get to host.

Also, I'm having serious difficulties with my informercial, mostly because I've been, uh, busy. I've been waist-deep in daydreaming, and I'm starting paper edits next week on Transparent! This is why I should never, ever promise to vlog. Did you know making videos takes a lot of time? Because I have so much of that to spare.

But today I want to talk about this daydreaming thing.

You know how it is. You get this idea and think about it all day. And then you dream about it. All week you can't stop thinking about it. You can't help but float around, smiling like a fool because this idea is just so awesome! And it's all yours, perfect and shiny and wonderful.

I think we underestimate the power of that daydreaming phase. We scramble to write things down so we don't forget them. We rush into outlining or figuring out this nebulous, sparkly idea blob. But sometimes I wonder if that's such a good thing, making that idea tangible with words and chapters and rules. It means you don't have to keep it in your mind constantly anymore—you have it written down, so your mind is free to wander off onto other things.

I'm currently in the middle of an experiment. All I've done for the last two weeks is...daydream. I had this huge, incredible idea for a rewrite of one my very first books. Instead of tossing it out as crazy or writing it down as genius, I've let it stay there in my head.

And guess what? It keeps growing. The characters keep talking. The world keeps filling out. The plot is slowly coming together.

And I haven't done a thing but think.

But more important than that, daydreaming has helped me with something I haven't been able to feel for a long time—passion. Passion for writing, for this story, for the journey that is creating a book. I haven't felt this excited to write in a very long time, and I'm holding on to that for dear life.

Writing should be magical. Letting yourself live and explore a new world, new characters, is just as important as the writing and editing that comes after. I know we're often told we need to work hard to get published, but it can't be done at the expense of creativity and imagination. If you snuff that out, everything else suffers.

So if you feel like you've lost the passion for writing, I highly recommend some good ol' daydreaming.


  1. I LOVE daydreaming. To just sit somewhere and let your thoughts wonder. . . ahhh, total bliss in my opinion!

    Happy Friday and happy daydreaming!

  2. I love the daydreaming stage. In it, the story is still perfect and wonderful and magical. The characters are fully formed. And I don't have to worry about saggy middles and plot holes! Have fun with it!

  3. Yes!!! Keep dreaming, girl. I know for a fact you are onto something amazing. :)

  4. I couldn't agree more. Daydreaming is what makes my daily commutes bearable, haha. And productive! I not only daydream about new ideas, but also about the next scene I'm going to write, the next chapter, the next layer I'm going to weave in to my story. You're right: sometimes it's best not to put an idea down on paper too soon, because it might still be growing in the fertile soil of your mind.

  5. I probably spend most of my workday daydreaming when I probably should be working...oh well.

    Just wanted to drop a line to thank you for the Happy Writers Society. It's been nice to kick-start my writing weekends with some positivity. :)

  6. LOVE day dreaming. And doodling. And free writing random thoughts that sprout from my mind. It's good for the soul and for our stories. Enjoyed today's meeting. Looking forward to next week's.

  7. I love love this post! Just what I needed to hear.

    It does seem like the times when I have more of a passion for my story and for writing is when I am constantly daydreaming about it, thinking about the characters, new plot ideas, etc. You're very right... writing is magical.

    Thanks for this reminder. Bookmarking, definitely. =)


  8. Love this post! I've been impatient to start my next project, but all this time it's been growing in my imagination. I've come up with a lot of new ideas that I love -- ideas I might have missed if I had rushed in too quickly. Thanks.

  9. Letting my mind wander when I'm plotting out a story is generally how I get my "aha!" moments (in a non-mad-scientist fashion) - I just have to control the urge to scribble it all down straight away! Great post - a day of daydreaming it is. :)

  10. Writing SHOULD be magical. Sometimes I forget that, struggling for the right words or slogging through verbs to make sure they say what I want.

    Magic. That's the moment when all elements flow together, your brain works happily, and the house is quiet and without distractions. Nice.

    Thanks so much for these writing posts! I LOVE them!

  11. Yes! I'm doing this at the moment. I promised myself I wouldn't start MS #10 until NaNo, but I haven't been able to think about anything other than my new story. My characters keep having all these pointless conversations that won't make it into the actual story, but I think they're important steps in the character development.

    The daydreaming phase is definitely my favourite.

    Good luck with the new idea!!

  12. I agree--the daydreaming phase is the best. And it helps me remember that writing should be magical.

  13. That was how I plotted novels 1- 3. This toss, I've devoted entire books to each of 4 characters, but I think I'll just let the plot unfold as usual.

    I'm up for a guest post. Can it be something already posted on our blog?