Daydreaming and the Creative Pursuit

Last month we moved into a new apartment and I brought my vision to life in our guest bedroom which I’ve deemed our daydreaming room.

I’ve always wanted a home library or reading room of sorts – a space in the house with a comfy chair by a window to sit and read or write or just be. I thought, “Why wait until we have a house to have a space like this? I’ll make better use of our rarely used guest bedroom and turn it into a reading/writing/daydreaming room.”

So, I situated my grandma’s blue tufted rocker by the window and hung curtains and wall art that makes me happy and there you have it. Daydreaming room = done!

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This room got me thinking about the importance of daydreaming and having a space to bring your creative ideas to life and people to share them with.

Recently, I had lunch with my boss and we talked about books we’ve got our noses in lately. We swapped our reading lists and talked a bit about writing and blogging, both of which I enjoy and am passionate about. After our conversation, I thought about how we [the general population] don’t share our dreams and passions with each other near enough.

Saying a dream out loud or sharing your vision with someone else is scary. It makes us feel vulnerable and subjects our ideas to criticism or skepticism, or even scarier, makes them real. When you share your dreams with someone else that person might even hold you accountable and follow up with a, “Hey, how’s that [insert dream] going? Have you made any progress on it lately?”

I’ll sometimes have these thoughts bob around in my head, “Wouldn’t it be fun and fulfilling to write a book someday? Or become a travel writer? Or pursue a sport that I’m good at that I currently just play for fun?” I’ll even go as far as jotting down these thoughts, but then I’ll close my journal and they’ll never see the light of day again. Sometimes my journal can turn into an idea prison and hush my creative thoughts like they can only come out during visiting hours.

To combat this, I’m sharing some things that I’ve done that might help and inspire you to pursue your dreams more aggressively:

  • Befriend a good listener who encourages you to dream. One of my best friends from college is an amazing listener and I frequently share my thoughts and dreams with her. I recall one weekend last summer when we went to an ice cream shop and sat outside on the curb in the parking lot, ate our ice cream and talked about our dreams of becoming published authors someday. [She is a journalist for a local newspaper, so she is already a published writer!] We talked about how it’d be neat to write a children’s book or a novel, and that conversation was so life-giving and inspiring to me. Find someone who spurs you on in your dreams, no matter how wild they may seem.
  • Keep a journal or notebook on you at all times or even a note in your phone to collect your brilliant ideas, fleeting thoughts, hefty goals or a quote you stumbled upon that’s too good not to capture in ink. Keeping a journal or a daily planner with lots of white space is a great way to invite creativity into your day, even if it’s just taking a couple minutes to doodle or jot down a random thought.
  • Create, don’t imitate. Here’s my minimalist plug for this post: The Minimalists wrote a short essay about creating and consuming and basically wrapped it up into this: If we are constantly consuming we will forget about our need to create. For me, this means if I’m scrolling through Instagram or Pinterest in search of a creative spark (home design, recipes, crafts) I might never create something authentic and original because I will be imitating someone else’s idea of beauty. The same good-listener-ice-cream-eater friend who encourages me to dream big once told me that an artist she listens to once said in an interview that when he’s working on a new album he won’t listen to other music because he’ll subconsciously imitate that person’s sound rather than creating something all his own. So, what ways can I [you, we] hone our craft(s) and contribute our gifts to the world? Maybe it means abstaining from social media for a bit so that you won’t compare your creative pursuits to someone else’s. Yes, social media and Pinterest are fantastic starting points to get inspired, but they should not be the standard to which we create. Don’t copy and paste. Remember, create, don’t imitate. This is what I’m preaching to myself.

I’m a sucker for a funny TV show quote. On the show Parks and Rec, I remember an episode where Jerry told Tom, “Weekends are for dreaming.” I’ve never forgotten that quote and it actually made me kind of sad. Although it was meant to be funny, how true is that in our lives? We “live for the weekend” and save Saturday and Sunday for pursuing our hobbies and activities that make us happy. I don’t want to live this way. Let’s not save our dreams for the weekend. Don’t be like Jerry. [Sorry, Jerry.]

So, share your dream with someone today. Write it down. Take the first step to bring it to life and make it your own. Consider this permission to dream big!

Above all else, remember this quote:

“Everyone is talented, original and has something important to say.” – Brenda Ueland

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