Sunday, November 29, 2009

How To Daydream 101

Do writers and artists daydream more than others? We do, we reside in one long daydream. Our inspiration begins with images, impressions, no more than fantasy, really. We craft these fantasies into stories, or art, our way of organizing the chaos of reality into something informative and entertaining, of expressing what some might find inexpressible.

I wonder if we ever know ourselves, truly know
our own selves? How do we gain that distance, the perspective necessary to detach and observe objectively? Is this why artist's are compelled to paint self portraits? Maybe it's an attempt to look inward that drives the writer. Could it be, are various characters representative of facets of our own psyche on display, on the page? Count me out—you might say. I don’t behave the way my characters do! I would never act like that, not in a million years! But, maybe you could—under the right circumstances. Maybe.

Even the most beautiful among us look into the mirror and see flaws.

Charitable types often come to resent their own propensity for selfless acts that offer no visible benefit.

The most sure-footed stumble.

Many rich men never believe they have accumulated enough wealth.

An aloof woman talks down to people but deep inside feels vulnerable and unloved.

A spur of the moment decision can change the course of one’s life forever, for good or bad.

Where is she going with this? You might ask. I guess I’m thinking out loud. Rambling. Feeling my way along. Deciding what to do with these wild imaginings of mine. Crafting unruliness into order, word by word.

I have taken on a
huge project. I am not at liberty to divulge just what IT is at this time. But, I will say this; I sure do have my work cut out for me. Whenever I attempt to bite off more than I can chew I remind myself that every daunting task I’ve ever taken on caused me to feel so insecure I felt like a fraud, inept and incapable of pulling it off. And yet I came through. So I let my Cheerleader Self take over. You go girl! Cheerleader Self says! Rah, rah, rah! Cheerleader Self cries. I have learned that she’s somebody I should listen to.

Let me take this opportunity to encourage all of you to bite off more than you can chew. It’s exhilarating.

If you’re willing, give an example of how you’ve stretched yourself and come out ahead. I love it when you share!

All Rights Reserved. © 2009 by Elizabeth Bradley.


Nancy said...

What is that saying "What would you attempt if you knew you couldn't fail?" Or something like that. We have to stretch ourselves to grow. Whatever the project, Elizabeth, you are up to it.

I'm stretching with a book I have talked about forever, and just finally feel it's time. I still feel incapable. But even if it doesn't ever get published, I know I did what I set out to do. We all have a purpose, and I think we are all feeling the need to get on with it. For whatever reason.

Woman in a Window said...

I don't like to set myself up with big challenges. Oh boy. That's probably not a good thing, is it? When I do, I usually back out. I'm like a dog in a corner when I do that to myself, so instead, I just let myself smell around, OH, THERE'S A STICK!

I have to admit, I don't get a whole lot accomplished this way. Woof!

I do think that writing allows me to become people I am AND am not, but would like to explore. But mostly, ya, it's me under there.

Hope your turkeying was all good and bloated.

Pop Art Diva said...

You sure know how to tease! Now I'm dying to know what your project is, lol.

I always seem to be tackling some new project - big and small. My head is always coming up with another idea for a painting series, an art project or another darn blog!

Without something to do, some project to tackle and some goal to strive for what would be the purpose of even getting out of bed?

Tabitha Bird said...

Writers are the BIGGEST daydreamers there are! I am proud to be one.

I am always biting off more than I can chew. Chewing is overrated. Just gulp. :)

Jemi Fraser said...

I'm intrigued!

I'm always biting off more than a can chew in my day job. There's always a new technique to try, more research to read, an agency to call and plan with that might help a kid,...

Investing in these challenges is good and terrifying in equal parts.

Helen Ginger said...

I think writers are always stretching themselves, taking on projects they fear are beyond their reach.

Straight From Hel

Patricia Stoltey said...

I've been biting off more than I can chew ever since I was a kid. I'm not sure why I haven't worn myself out, but I'm still plugging far. It has been productive in some ways, but a couple of times I suffered through a rough case of exhaustion. It's all about pacing and making good choices, I guess.

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Good luck with your project, Elizabeth!

I think you're right...when we're stretching ourselves, we're growing. If we're not growing, *somehow*, then we're drying up.

2 series, simultaneously, is a stretch for me. Somedays I think I'm handling them both poorly. I just try stretching a little more.

Mystery Writing is Murder

ellen abbott said...

I daydreamed a lot when I was a kid. Still do.

And I challenge myself a lot too. I'll sell an idea, a job and then I have to figure out how to do it. Done that on more than one occasion.

Lauri Kubuitsile said...

It's not daydreaming Elizabeth, it's preperation.

I'm currently struggling with a big mouthful. I've applied for a writers residency -something I never thought I could ever do. It is for writers from all over the world. If I get is ( a HUGE long shot) I'll have to go to Egypt and be the BIG writer- ALONE. Most words in that sentence scare the pants off me.

Jenn said...

For me just about everything in my life has been biting off too much but I just use my tongue to shove some of it into both cheeks and chew through the middle first. Then I go back for the other pieces I left behind later. Most of the time I write characters that I wish I could become.

Can't wait to hear what it is you're working on...a little rah, rah from this corner too! You'll do great no matter what IT is!!

Mushy said...

I've bit off large hunks all my to give one example would biting off more than I'm willing to write just now.

I do think writers (speaking for myself now) daydream more than others. I've always talked to myself and thought about weird ways of writing down what I thought or saw played out in my head. Without such things we would missing so many books and movies today.

Elspeth Antonelli said...

Biting off more than you can chew is a good thing if you've got the teeth for it. Best of luck in your project. I'm sure you looked before you leapt!


Helen Ginger said...

I know exactly how you feel. I've also taken on a project that I'm now wondering if I'm up to the challenge. This is not a new experience and I've met the challenge in the past, but until I get really into the writing, there's acid in my stomach.

Straight From Hel

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

"Even the most beautiful among us look into the mirror and see flaws."

That line is haunting. And it's such a great tell for motivation. You have me thinking about my characters today and what drives them. Thank you!

Shirley Wells said...

Good luck with the new project!

I think we should all bite off more than we can chew. Sure, it makes life a little stressful, but we drag ourselves through it. Without pushing ourselves, how would we ever achieve anything?

Mr. Shife said...

I feel like I have bitten off more than I can chew every day when I stay at home with my son and try to maintain some sort of freelance career. I think I am coming to a crossroads in my life when I am going to have to focus more on my son because he needs so much more of my attention these days since he is getting bigger and more active. I hope your project goes well and good luck with it.

kerrycharacters said...

Imposter syndrome is a nasty thing. I love photography but although I have an eye for composition I have not been disciplined enough to learn the technical side. I thought a way to do this would be to book exhibition space, advertise an exhibition and then come up with the material. I did this and it was a great success but I still tell myself that it was totally beginners luck and mean it. I sold almost everything but still thing there was some mistake. Good luck with your new project. My new challenge is writing and I am so grateful for all your encouragement. This is my true path.

Jan Morrison said...

Yes! I say yes to biting off more than I can chew. Heck, I've got pockets don't I! I had kids when I was one, became a high-lead logger when no other women were doing it, swept an elephant, took on the National Arts Centre and made them take a play, started a theatre company and a theatre in a small town, went to university when I was forty, did a marathon when I was fifty, hooked up with my man when he had children thirty years younger than mine and therefore AT HOME, got chickens, built a house with really no money or prospects,and through it all kept believing that I will be a writer - that I am a writer who can create a universe big enough for the kind of person I am! Whew! Yes, I say yes!