Dreaming on

So, last week – and this week, if I’m honest – I was having a bit of trouble getting myself to write.  I won’t use the dreaded B word, because I’m not blocked, just… procrastinating.  Unwilling to get into the groove. Dawdling and lollygagging.  One morning, I told myself that if I wasn’t going to get down to business and work, then at least I could catch up on my professional reading. (That’s what librarians call it.  You know, the stack of writing magazines and newsletters sitting on your desk or your end table?  Professional reading. Much more interesting for writers than librarians.  Except for Booklist.  Still not as interesting as a new novel by a favorite author or even New York magazine.)

Anyway, I was reading the SCBWI Bulletin from November/December, and lo and behold! “Dream On” by Penny Taub on page 18 caught my eye.  After all, my first word for 2013 is DREAM..

Penny’s article is brief but valuable.  She instructs the writer to use visual imagery exercises  to connect with your main character and then re-read your work through the character’s eyes.  While the exercises, valuable as they are,were not new to me, Penny’s concept of creating a mental movie and viewing the work through their senses was.  I read various writers’ publications, take notes, dog-ear pages, highlight items – but rarely does an article speak to me so immediately.

Instead of looking at my work from the outside – an understandable perspective when writing synopses and query letters – Penny’s guidance enabled me to re-immerse myself in my story’s world and to use my inclination to daydream to dream productively.  I still find guided imagery to be less than helpful during the day, though.  But it seems to be sticking with me quite well at night, as several mornings have found me crawling from sleep with fresh ideas and resolutions for some of the issues with my story.

Procrastinate productively!  You just might find it’s exactly what you needed.


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