1. Keep Your Daydreams Close Throughout the Day, Not Just at Writing Time
It isn’t enough to simply sit down to write every day. Even with a foundation of good daily habits, you won’t always be able to simply conjure your daydreams.
Daydreams need time to grow, to ripen, and to ferment. They need to sit in the back of your minds all day long, floating just under the surface, only a fingertip away from your conscious thought at any moment.
If you hope to have a delicious, mature flavor to pour onto the page during our writing sessions, you need to have your stories simmering throughout the day.
2. Schedule Time to Daydream
To some extent, this is a no-brainer. We’ve all experienced those glorious rushes in which we eat, sleep, and breathe our stories for days, even weeks and months, on end. You have the luxury of letting your stories take precedence in your minds, and you’re able to run through your daily activities on autopilot. But it doesn’t always work that way.
When my schedule gets crammed, deadlines loom, and the world impinges on my solitude, my daydreaming dissipates like a cloud of steam. Sometimes I stop in my tracks, shocked to realize that my story hasn’t crossed my mind all day—and that my writing is likely to suffer as a result.
On those days when life is doing its tilt-a-whirl impression, you must make a conscious effort to keep my imagination within reach. Although you don’t want your daydreams to distract from your productivity and efficiency in non-writing activities, you do want to keep your characters walking beside you, ready to catch your eye and offer a few interesting ideas whenever you hit a slow moment in my day’s work.
3. Triage Your Life to Make Room for Daydreaming
In his book A Writer’s Space, creativity coach Eric Maisel, Ph.D., tells about a client who traced her struggle with writer’s block back to her lack of daydreaming:
She also understood that unless she made self-reflection [daydreaming] a daily practice, her writing life might slip away again. The practice she instituted involved letting go of and mourning several of her previous activities (a few of which, once she let them go, she didn’t miss or mourn all that much)…
Daydreaming isn’t always something you can do simultaneously with other activities. It can be time consuming. You may find you need to take a break now and then, go for a walk, or maybe just stare out a window in order to get your logical brain slowed down and your creative brain revved up.