Goals that are a stretch are often called “only dreams.” The word ‘only’ labels them as far-fetched, unlikely, something to pursue for fun, but not seriously. Dreams are important fragments of your imagination, private signs to emotional healing. Daydreams are just as powerful because they are fueled by possibility. Daydreams let you stroll through your imagination and unhook from the yoke of duty—jobs, classes, cleaning, running errands.
Daydreams can be powerful tools for creativity; they can guide ordinary work toward extraordinary work. Want to write? The usual guidance is, “Write what you know.” You have a pretty good idea that no one wants to read what you know. You want to write what no one knows—yet—what doesn’t exist, what might exist only in your head. You want to be a writer. You know better than to express this out loud. So you daydream about being a writer.
You allow yourself to imagine the best, with no boundaries. You come up with ideas. Some of them don’t feel so far-fetched. You take a few notes. You daydream some more. You change your story to something extraordinary. And suddenly you have a piece of writing worth pursuing without dreaming. You’ve moved your daydreaming to reality.
That is exactly why dreaming is so important. It leads us away from the past with the “no” and the “can’t” and the “We don’t have those careers.” It opens the door to “Why not?” and “See what happens,” and “Try it and find out.” Daydreaming leaves us open to possibility. Success. Adventure. Daydreaming is as important as dreaming at night. Daydreaming solves problems. Daydreaming creates hope. Daydreaming stokes the ember of creativity into a flame.
Dreams heal. They heal hurts, a stifled imagination, a crumpled spirit. Dreams can heal the world. True, they are not real, but they can be made real with a bit of creativity and daydreaming.
Quinn McDonald is an artist and certified creativity coach who helps artists through transitions in their lives and work. You can e-mail your business-of-art questions to QuinnCreative@yahoo.com. Quinn’s book, Raw Art Journaling: Making Meaning, Making Art will be published by North Light in July, 2011.
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