This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
by Anna Bell
Regular readers of my columns will know that my biggest bugbear when talking to people who tell me they want to write a book is when they say they don’t have time. Most writers don’t have time, but you’ve got to learn to squeeze the time out of thin air. The most challenging part of the process to find to for, for me, is daydreaming.
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Some of the most important time I give over to writing a novel is when I’m far away from my computer and I’m lost in an imaginary world in my head. Before I was a mum, I’d find that time when I was on a dog walk with my labrador. There was something about the mix of fresh air and gentle exercise on my own, which gave me the ability to think and to ponder the plots, twists and turns of my novels. When my husband came along on the walk, I’d explain where I was having problems. Usually, having that time out of the house, away from any distractions, I’d be able to solve them. Now that my dog walks are spent looking for dandelions to blow or stones to collect, I’ve given up that precious thinking space and I’ve had to look elsewhere.My son is an absolutely terrible sleeper. Apart from a miraculous four months where he slept through the night, he has spent the last two years having ridiculous night wakings. Last night as I cuddled him whilst he tried to go to sleep at 3.30am, I reflected at how lucky I was. Not only was I cradling my precious boy, but one day I’d look back at that time longingly (or at least I tell myself I will) as being the gift of time. Ok, so mostly I’d prefer the gift of sleep, but last night I was relishing the time to be lost in my thoughts. The house was so peaceful and I let myself get lost in book ideas.
I’ve just handed in an edit and I’m writing my next novel due for delivery in June, but not content that that’s enough to be letting my brain contend with, oh no, I wanted to think of what would come next. I’ve got the idea for two other novels and I indulged myself in letting them percolate in my mind. I invited the characters into their settings. I started to listen to the dialogue they’d have in certain situations with each other to see what type of voice they’d have, and I started to wonder where their stories would take them.
My new baby is due in the next couple of weeks, and I know that I probably won’t be relishing the more frequent interruptions to my sleep. I’ll probably be too sleep deprived to think with any clarity at night. It makes me wonder where my new daydreaming time will come from, but one thing’s for certain, I know it will, because it’s so important to me and my writing.
Do you have a favourite time to daydream through your novels?