Being an author is like being in charge of your own personal insane asylum.

- Graycie Harmon

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


I have touched a couple of times, but never really written specifically on, the importance of daydreams.

For those few people who have never had them and don't know what the hell I'm talking about, a daydream is something remarkable that happens to people. It usually creeps up on you in times of intense boredom. For me, that happened A great deal at school, where I was generally bored out of my tree. Metaphorically, of course, except once when I actually fell out of a tree.

In any case, it is the sudden descent into the impossible all while sitting in a chair. Depending on the person, one can travel to the deepest, darkest, unexplored rain-forests, or one can become a member of an elite demon-hunting squad. I've done both, if you must know. All this can be achieved by sitting and staring out the window while your frightfully dull geography teacher lectures about a badly mispronounced 'Phuket.'

If you are going to write creatively it is of the utmost importance that you are able to daydream. You must be able to sit still and stare out the window at nothing in particular and find yourself dancing in a stone circle, or fighting a war, or falling in love.

Daydreams are SO important.

They help feed the imagination. Even if you don't write what you daydream about, it helps feed the creative juices.

As for myself, I never grew out of daydreaming. Some people do. I just never did, and my daydreams are incredibly vivid - to the point where I have been moved to tears, or startled so badly I almost fall out of my chair (sorry, Mr. McLean). Every daydream I've had has a place in my writing.

With The Seraphimé Saga, I had a daydream about the main character (Seraphimé) standing on part of a ruined platform, staring out across a frozen landscape on a moonlit night, with a giant black dog at her side. I wrote that scene, and then the rest of the story just spilled out.

The Great Man series is almost entirely daydreams I've had about and around the main character, Julian, whom I first met when I was fourteen... in a daydream. I literally daydreamed the entire series.

I've always been a dreamy, head-in-the-clouds sort of person. I was terrible at sports, mostly because I got bored easily, and daydreamed a lot... on the field... when I should have been chasing that softball.


Daydreams can get tricky. I am so in tune with the dreaming part of my brain, I'm likely to fall into a daydream in the middle of a sentence. This is bad. If you can control your daydreams, don't let them get a hold of you if you're in the middle of a conversation. It can be awkward starting a sentence, then drifting off into nothingness, staring out passed the person with whom you are conversing, without ever actually finishing your thought. Trust me.

Yes, I have done that.

Also, you may find yourself the most hated person on your sports team if you're daydreaming at the goal post when that tie-break is scored against you.

Yep. I've done that too.

What do you want from me? Being goalie was boring and my brain... well... drifted someplace else.

And if at all possible, never, ever, mistake a daydream for reality. I've experienced this quite recently, and reality turned out to be very painful indeed. So, never let your imagination run away with you. Then men in white coats will be after your tail. Of course you have a tail. I just saw it.


Barring those mistakes, all of which I have made, daydream away.

Daydream often. Daydream unashamedly. Just daydream.


Genevieve said...

I am learning to daydream again!!! Love you lots!!!

S.M. Carrière said...

Yay! Just don't so it when you're driving!