Hello, everyone! Been awhile since my last post. I guess I don’t really have anything major to say this time, but I thought I would share some recent breakthroughs I’ve had in my writing/creative life. The first one is very obvious and I can’t imagine why I never thought of it sooner. It is a realization I had about daydreaming.
I’ve always liked to daydream. That’s practically a qualification of being a writer, isn’t it? Daydreaming is not only fun, it’s very important. A writer needs that imaginative time to create new things and get to know his worlds and characters better. But somewhere down the line, I reached a point where I felt like I couldn’t daydream anymore. It cost me huge amounts of effort to envision my stories and characters, and I could rarely keep myself focused on a daydream for very long. This was extremely distressing and it made me feel like I was less of a writer than my friends. Many–probably most–of my writer friends, including one of my closest friends in the world, daydream without even trying. It comes naturally to them. They just find themselves drifting off and don’t even notice what’s happening in the world around them. I’d reached the point where that never happened to me anymore, at least not for stories. Sure, sometimes I’d daydream about future possibilities, but I could never do it about my imaginary world. Last week, I realized why. Aside from various emotional distractions, the reason is because I was doing it wrong. I had been trying to visualize everything, as if I were in a movie–build the scene from the ground up, see the expressions on the characters’ faces, hear their voices as they talked, or else imagine myself as one of them. But my mind doesn’t naturally think in images. I am one of those people who thinks most often in words; I have a constant inner monologue, accompanied by a (usually) hazy stream of images and deep currents of feelings for the things I can’t describe in words. Many of my friends who I’d been comparing myself to, on the other hand, think primarily with images and feelings, not with direct words. And so, it was only natural that I would have a hard time daydreaming the way they did, because my mind doesn’t work the same. Once I had that realization, I began to daydream in words instead of images, as if I were writing in my head. And it worked. The words swept me away and images and feelings followed on their heels without me even having to try to envision them. At the time I felt rather calm about the whole thing. It was such an obvious realization to come to that I’m still not quite sure why I never understood that before. But I’m excited now! I’m eager to see how my creative life expands now that I’ve realized the way my mind is meant to daydream.
The other breakthrough is more of an intellectual breakthrough: I finally stated to myself, in words, in a way I could describe, a vision for my stories and writing. Not all of my stories do or will fit this vision–I will write whatever sounds interesting to me, whether it fits the vision or not. It isn’t exactly something I would call a grand purpose. It’s more of a guiding light. Something to shoot for in my stories. I know that if I’m accomplishing this, the story has been successful on at least one level, even if it fails in others. It’s a comfort to me to have this abstract idea to shoot for, even if I’m not trying to make all my stories conform to it.
The vision is this: that I want to bring magic into the everyday. I want to show, with my stories, how magical the mundane world can be, and conversely, how mundane magic sometimes is. I want to inject wonder into things that are not thought to have wonder. I want to throw a veil of mystery back over things that have been made all too clear in the glaring light of reason and pragmatism. Because it is my belief that the veil was never truly torn away, only x-rayed, and if you look closely enough, the mystery and magic will return to anything.
That is all. Vale!