Daydream Believer

When I had to work full-time, and especially during those last frantic and futile years as the company I worked for went down the tubes, I would visualize my ideal life. I wanted to do: Nothing. I wanted to spend my days staring off into space, daydreaming.

As a goal, this is difficult to explain to anyone. People said, “Oh, you’ll get bored. You should plan to do something, get a part-time job, volunteer.” I read page after page of worried cautions about people who didn’t ‘plan’ their retirement activities and spiraled into depressions. They needed, said the pundits, something concrete to do.

Well, I’m not sure I ever formally retired. My day job went away, true, and since my husband and I had saved every penny I didn’t have to find another one. (This is not ‘luck’ but that’s another rant.) I spent hours out of every day daydreaming, staring off into space, doing absolutely nothing. I had the time and I used it.

I stopped work over four years ago. I’m not bored.  I feel no urge to find something to ‘do’. I’m already doing it.

Now, you might ask, what about the writing? Isn’t that doing something? Well, yes, but the writing comes directly from the daydreaming. You can call it plotting, you can call it ‘working on the manuscript’ but really, I’m fantasizing and drifting, making up people, solving puzzles, playing around. All my creativity comes from the part of me that got squished down by work and commuting and worrying and lack of sleep.

I have a book in process of becoming, and while I’d like it to move faster, it has its own rhythm and comes at its own time. Once it gets done, whenever the hell that will be, I have two more behind it ready to start. Once you commit to daydreaming, it’s endless.

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Mary Holland

Mary Holland writes alternative-world fantasy for grown-ups. Her books include Matcher Rules, The Bone Road, and The Dog of Pel. She lives in the Santa Cruz Mountains with three cats and an ever-changing assortment of wildlife.

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