Well, good morning. I’m feeling a bit better today – a little bit stronger, a little bit more settled. I hope the writing will flow a little easier today. The going has been slow for the past few weeks on my WiP, partly due to the fact that I’ve been distracted by real life a little more than normal, but today I hope I’ll have a focused day. *crosses fingers*
I’m thinking about imagination this morning, perhaps due to the fact that both my husband and myself had extremely detailed – and remarkably similar – dreams last night; we both dreamed about natural disasters, oddly enough. In his case it was a volcanic eruption, and in mine it was a landslide, which I could ‘see’ as clearly as if it was happening three feet away from me. It started me off thinking about the human brain, its capacity to imagine and dream, and how or why we place limits on our minds, sometimes.
I’m engaged in a battle with the climax of my book at the moment. My characters are right in the middle of one of the big showdowns, and as I was writing yesterday I actually kept thinking ‘I can’t write that. It sounds ridiculous. I have to scale that back a little, surely.’ I caught myself doing this just as I had come up with something really interesting – and something I’d certainly never seen or read before – and it was enough to bring my work to a complete stop. It was like I’d reached an impasse with myself. My creative brain wanted to forge ahead and write this idea to its fullest, but my logical brain scoffed at it, almost as if it was afraid to break new ground, and decided it wasn’t happening. I still haven’t resolved this argument, but I think I’ll revisit the issue today and hope my creative brain is a bit stronger than it was yesterday, and better able to stand up for itself.
This morning, after my husband and I realised we’d both had amazing dreams, I started to think again about imagination, and the freedom involved in letting it loose. I wondered, too, why I’d stopped myself using my imagination yesterday. In my dream last night, I surfed down a landslide as if it was a wave and I was a champion surfer, and my ‘rational’ brain had no objection. It was all pure imagination, pure creative brain, and it felt wonderful to let it loose. When it comes to writing, though, I regularly feel as though I’m urging myself to hold back, to explain everything, to make sure everything ‘makes sense’, to take care, to go slowly… it causes me great stress and anxiety, sometimes. I’m all in favour of just writing, getting the story out, and then going back to ‘fix’ things later – I just can’t seem to do it myself. I got myself so wrapped up in knots a few weeks ago trying to sort out some of the technology being used in my fictive world that I nearly drove myself to drink. It didn’t occur to me for days that this is my world: I created this place, and it can run whatever way I want it to. When I did finally realise that, it was as if I’d been allowed to take a deep breath after weeks of wearing a too-tight corset. Once I’d given myself that freedom, the scene started to work as if by magic – I sorted out the technology, it was all fine, and the work proceeded easily.
You’d think I’d learn from that experience, but it seems not. Here I am doing it to myself again.
So, I am going to learn from my dreams today. Let your imagination run free, and see where it takes you. Remember that writing is supposed to be fun. It’s supposed to be about creativity and self-expression, as well as the challenge of creating a story and a world that ‘works’ and holds itself together. I need to remember the bits about fun and creativity – the rest, as I’ve seen, will follow on naturally. It makes sense that allowing your brain the freedom to breathe creatively will help your work – I just keep allowing myself to forget that part!
If you’re writing (or even if you’re not), good luck with whatever your brain is trying to get up to today. And remember – your brain knows more than you think!