Daydreaming used to get me into all kinds of trouble. When I was young I found it hard to control and would drift into what my friend would call cloud cuckoo land at the most inopportune moments. I remember my poor mum’s worried cry of “Where have you been?” when I would finally walk through the door an hour after leaving school. I had been on my way home, of course, but I’d also been on a journey of my imagination. I would play out scenes in my head, of being a princess, or meeting fairies, or of standing up to the mean kid who made me cry earlier.
When I was in daydream mode I lost all track of time, place and what I was supposed to be doing in the real world. My mum would send me to the local corner shop to buy a pound of bacon, and I would eventually come back with a pound of bananas because I’d daydreamed all the way there and forgotten everything but a pound of something beginning with B. I suppose I was lucky I wasn’t run over or kidnapped, because being in cloud cuckoo land meant I wasn’t very observant about what was going on in the real world. More than once, I’ve stepped off the kerb without looking and been shocked back into reality by the harsh sound of a car horn. There’s no wonder my mum worried.
I still get moments like that, but they’re a little easier to control these days. If I’m at work I get stern and drag myself back into the real world when I catch myself drifting. I do let it happen when I’m doing housework though, as it helps me get through the mundane. In fact, housework actually helps my creativity, as silly as that sounds. Doing things that don’t take any brain power sets free the imaginative side of my mind and lets me work through the kinks in a story. Rather than sit in front of the blank page I go and clean something. Of course, when inspiration hits, I have to rush back to the computer and write it down before I forget, so some projects are left half-done until I hit another wall, but it all seems to work in its own strange little way. A bit like me, I suppose.