I saw a post on Twitter the other day referring to the condition known as “Writer’s Head.” No, it’s not a naughty innuendo (shame on you!), but a real thing writers must deal with on a regular basis. It is something that most non-writers just don’t understand.
It is a well-known fact that most writers “live in their heads.” Even when we are not actually, physically tending to the business of writing, our minds are working. Plotting, planning, doing mental character sketches, listening to conversations around us for dialogue ideas, surreptitiously gawking at observing interesting strangers for character quirks…..the list goes on. And don’t even think about ever getting a full night’s sleep- that is when the best stuff in our heads comes out to play.
I do not know where the original quote came from, but I have heard it repeated many times that being a writer is like “having homework for the rest of your life.” For many, writing becomes an obsession, and hopefully, it is a healthy one that pays off. I do not know whether writers are naturally day-dreamers, or if the process of writing makes such behavior necessary. But for me, I know I was born this way.
My mother used to yell at me all the time, “Get your head out of the clouds!” I guess it was because no matter what I was doing, my mind was usually somewhere else, fantasizing, planning, escaping. I felt guilty because she berated me for it, but in retrospect, my ability to escape reality at will got me through some pretty tough times. Later in life, I decided to embrace my tendencies and figure out how to utilize them.
Now I own it- Yes, my head is in the clouds! But it’s okay, it serves a purpose now. I can be proud of it, and I know I am not the only one who does it. There are some very successful chronic daydreamers out there.
So if the non-writers in your life (like my Hubby) look at you sideways when you’ve been in the writing zone for a few hours and are walking around in daze, don’t feel guilty. If they knew how cool it was up here in the clouds, they’d be here too. It’s our little secret.