I was walking back to the station with a colleague after work last night (I walk past his bus stop on the way to the station) and he mentioned that I’d walked straight past him the previous day, when he was waiting.
Him: You walked straight past me, without noticing me.
Me: I do that. Sorry.
Him: But it was like you weren’t there at all.
Me: Yeah, I’m often in a world of my own.
Him: No, but it was like you were somewhere else.
Me: I probably was.
Him: But it was like you were having a conversation!
Me: Yeah, probably. I spend a lot of time talking to myself.
Him: But it was like you were really trying to work something out!
Me: Well I probably was.
As I said to him then, I can’t deny that I spend a lot of time in my own head. In my defense, it’s a nice place to spend time in – you’d like it!
I spend a lot of time day-dreaming: working through scenarios, stories, potential happenings, scenes, some connected to real-life, many not. It’s like the Tardis in there, only with less special effects. There’s entire worlds in my head, some of them decades old affairs that I’ve been working on since childhood. One day I might set stories in them, but then again I might not.
Because I didn’t create them as somewhere to set stories for other people; I created them as somewhere I could go and spend time in, stories I could dip in and out of, my own private iPlayer.
Maybe this is an author thing. I seem to recall Marie Phillips (@mpphillips) talking about day-dreaming when she spoke to the London Writers’s Club, and I’m pretty sure Wil Wheaton once did a post where he apologised to his wife for the number of times where he’s with her… but not with her.
But then again, speaking to yourself and spending considerable periods of time in fantasy worlds that reside entirely in your own head is probably equally a nutter thing. Perhaps the only thing dividing authors from nutters is the existence or non-existence of a publishing contract.
Which is bit worrying.
Any authors care to declare where they stand here? If you need me, I’ll be somewhere in my head thinking about it. Just give me a poke on the shoulder and I’ll get right back to you.