A little magic can take you a long way. – Roald Dahl.
When I’m stuck, I don’t know any other way to move onwards in my work than to dream my way there.
If I’m lead to my desk by the lynch mob of anxiety, fear, pressure, stress, self-doubt, I only get hurt. I don’t get work done. Unsurprisingly, if my mind is bullied to create, it doesn’t yield.
But the minute I stand my ground and give myself room to imagine, my story breathes. I do too. Everything is suddenly possible and alive.
This topic comes up often in Creative Conversations (CCs as we call them) that my bestie and I set aside time to have with each other. Knowing the cycle of my creative process often better than I do, Libs always brings me back to these roots by asking me, have you given yourself enough time to imagine? What’s your daydreaming time been like lately? Sure enough, when I make time to stare at a wall or clouds or get into the garden or walk under trees or clean the bathroom (daydreaming doesn’t always need glamour or whimsy) I am saved from being lynched by my inner critic. Libs, in an entirely different industry to me, finds this process so similar in her work: without daydreaming, without giving herself time to imagine, her ideas are sparse.
Serendipitously, today is Road Dahl Day. I’m mentally knackered, on draft 8 or 9 (I’ve lost count) of my manuscript and the lynch mob are circling.
It’s Roald Bloody Dahl Day.
So. I’ve resolved to make a coffee and take my work to sit under silver birch trees with a notebook and pencil and, god dammit, I’m going to dream.
Whatever it is you’re working towards, wherever you’re trying to get to in your work, if you’re a bit wilted too, please feel free to join me. Let’s be grown ups who remember the power packed into one little word. Imagine. Let’s give ourselves permission to dream: a little magic can take us a long way.