Sometimes a question is tough to answer because I can’t think of an answer. And then there are the questions that are tough to answer because I can think of a thousand answers.
There’s the daydream in which my freshly-revised YA fantasy novel is snatched up by an agent early in January, hours after I resubmit it, sparking a massive bidding war between three of the Big Five publishers.
Then there’s the one in which the monarch of a small yet fabulous tropical island nation sees my art/word collaboration with Cara Walton Photography that’s up in a local venue this month and says, “Who is this writer, and how can I convince her to relocate to my fabulous tropical island nation and become our Poet Laureate/Official Oceanside Taste-Tester of Those Drinks with the Tiny Umbrellas?”
There’s also the one in which I meet Ursula K. Le Guin and Annie Dillard, and they have a write-off to decide who gets to adopt me.
Of course, there are the completely unrealistic ones in which I win a Grammy or a Nobel Prize in Awesome or become the first Anglo-Saxonist on Mars or invent a “yo mama” joke that is so mind-alteringly yet inoffensively hilarious that it inadvertently causes world peace.
I’ve also got one in which I become Empress of Everything and I sit the world’s leaders down on the storytime carpet for a big honkin’ time out and we get some stuff straight. Basic preschool-level stuff about kindness and manners and not trashing the playroom for the rest of us.
BUT. Let’s be realistic.
When I read this stuff, I think, WOW. Girlfriend is an egomaniac.
Maybe dedicated introverts have egomaniacal daydreams because daydreams are a safe place to get attention. In daydreams, you only get the good stuff. Not the scathing critiques or the super-stalkers or the garden-variety trolls. Not the cool kind of living-under-a-bridge-eating-goats-gruff trolls.
I like attention as much as the next bridge-dweller. Which means that I want it when I want it for as long as I want it and exactly a certain kind of it and the second I decide I am done it is done and WHY IS EVERYBODY LOOKING AT ME STOP LOOKING AT ME NOW I SAID NOW.
So I think it is not so much a specific recurring daydream as the general type of daydream that can inspire me to do my best work in 2016. I am a writer. I want to tell stories for humans and any other literate creatures who may care (dragons, I’m looking at you). I want to tell stories that make the world a better place and to do this, to get them into that nebulous dimension often referred to as OUT THERE, this introvert needs to get used to people looking at the contents of her brain. The daydream is a safe zone, a place to play with the idea of attention and not suffer the consequences. It’s a place to imagine the possibility that inspires reality.
In the new year, I will work harder to get my fiction out into the world, and I will embrace the consequences in all their messy glory.
A few fantastic responses to this prompt:
Sherean: “The proof of our desire is always in our results.” Brilliant, right? Read the rest.
Janet St. J0hn: “You have a novel to finish.” If this is you, read on: “Awake, Perchance to Dream”
Amy Ozarow Oscar: “The tiger is here.” Intrigued? Read the rest.
And whatever you are doing, please stop it right now and go read Lauren Iuppa Ayer’s response so you will understand why it is imperative that this woman’s novel find its way into your hands someday.