One of the things I like to do when writing is put on my headphones and listen to my Zune. I have playlists for all of my individual projects and the music they contain helps to get me into the “zone” or into my characters heads.
Last week I had my headphones on sitting, staring out the window at work while I ate lunch. I was daydreaming. Something I’ve always done. And it struck me that I love writing so much because it gives me an excuse to do just that, a lot. Then I get to take those daydreams, put them down on paper and give them to others to experience.
This is where my point starts to weave in. Daydreaming or reading, or even watching movies to an extent, gives us a chance to try out new and different things and have experiences we wouldn’t necessarily ever get to have ourselves, all without the fear of consequence. It’s one of the reasons I love reading so much. I get to see through someone else’s eyes.
In writing, I get to daydream, try on new hats, new attitudes even whole new ways of thinking without fear of the repercussions of changing my whole life. Not only that but sometimes I get to confront my past demons and watch how things play out, and learn and grow from the experiences I didn’t get to have.
Now I’m not going to tell you that there aren’t unexpected side effects to opening yourself up and letting those festering little buggers out. But for me the benefits have far outweighed any discomfort I have endured.
Is there a book you’ve read or one you’ve written that was especially therapeutic for you?