How dare you.
We've all be scolded for daydreaming at some point in our lives. It's so discouraged, we ignore the power in it. How incredible is it that we can be awake, be physically present, yet not see or hear anything around us?
When I was in school, I remember a teacher lecturing us on the perils of television. One argument against TV I found particularly odd: "when we watch TV, our minds are less active than when we daydream!" And I thought, duh, of course they are. I don't have to make anything up when I watch TV. I don't have to invent anything myself. How exactly is daydreaming inactive? Just because my body can be still when I daydream? Because it can be in motion too.
I'm tired of people talking about daydreams like they're passive to the point of being lazy, and unimportant.
I'd like to acknowledge the power in daydreaming. I probably can't say every great idea, or every great story came from daydreams, but the vast majority must have. The fact that we can disappear inside our brains and shut out the world around us is a power that should be acknowledged. It's incredible that our brains can do that. Ever been so consumed in a book that hours go by without you realizing it? How can some markings on a page take your brain on such a trip?
The idea that daydreaming is lazy can get deeply ingrained, to the point that we stop ourselves from daydreaming even at times when we can daydream. I was eating breakfast once, and almost stopped myself from going on a daydream trip. I should be thinking of the day ahead, planning, scheduling, not drifting. Then I thought, why am I stopping myself right now? The day will still be there when breakfast and my daydream are finished. And I sat there and wrote a song, something that wouldn't have existed if I stopped the daydream and worried about something "real."
Now, I probably don't have to tell you to daydream, or even that daydreams are beneficial. If you're a writer, you probably already know that. But how do you feel about yourself for daydreaming? How do you talk to yourself afterward? Do you feel lazy? Was it a waste of time? Maybe you didn't come up with a new idea, solve a problem, write a song, or do anything "productive." Are daydreams still good then?
Absolutely, 100% yes. Your mind needs to be able to breathe. Daydreams keep you open to ideas, and keep your mind searching for them. So give yourself permission to space out every now and then, and be kind to yourself afterward. Your brain is amazing for being able to take you out of the room and into another world that's only yours. We should all be able to enjoy that ability.