It’s difficult enough to explain to our spouses how going to conventions, drinking, talking, and hanging out with friends counts as work. Or how playing Scrabble on Facebook counts as networking (“honey, I swear, I’m playing with my publisher and my agent.”) Now I’m trying to justify how lying in bed staring at nothing counts as work.

You see, we writers always face looming deadlines, the pressure to produce, and there’s always something to be done or written. Think about it: as a friend put it, “we get paid to make shit up.” We professional liars need time to recharge. We need time to just let our mind wander, time to just ease up and let ideas play out, take root, or untangle themselves in the back of our mind. Charlie Jane Anders agrees with me, as pointed out in the blog 12 Secrets to Being a Super Prolific Short Story Writer:

Don’t be afraid to stare at the blank screen for a few hours. Sometimes you gotta spend some time chewing over the turning point in your story … there’s no substitute, on occasion, for sitting and sweating it out. Think about the characters, and what they’re actually thinking and feeling in the situation you’ve set up. Think about the themes you’ve established and what sort of resolution they’re leading to. Take the time to visualize the right ending for this story.

Where do you writers get your ideas? Probably the most asked questions, if least understood why we find it so inane. We all get ideas all the time. We’re just focused enough to write them down and form stories out of them. It’s one reason why we carry notepads with us all the time. Our imagination is our tool and we need to tend to it. Let it breathe and have room to do its thing. like anything else, to get the most out of it, we have to discipline it.

I say all of this to tie up the reality of my life. I’ve just spent the last two hours in bed, just letting my imagination run wild as a part of my world building exercise. And currently I’m on the toilet, notepad in hand, not knowing when a good idea will strike nor wanting to let a moment go by wasted, when I had the idea that maybe this would be a good blog.*

Or maybe not.

Hey, not every idea is a winner.

*I keep thinking one day either my editor or publisher is going to ask “what the hell are you doing on your blog?” and somehow issue a cease and desist order.