Writers daydream. It's a fact of life. Actually, we don't call it daydreaming; we call it writing because the thought process is as much a part of what we do as the clacking of computer keys or the scratch of biro on paper.

Unfortunately, we can't always control when the ideas come to us or how they present themselves.

I might be on a bus and a character will stroll into my head and say something that makes me laugh out loud. The ball is rolling. I might be in the middle of a conversation. Somebody might say something that reminds me of something else. I start asking 'what if?' Off I go again.

There are times when I have been watching television or catching up with friends and my face - taking on a rather alarming life of its own- has run through the complete spectrum of human emotion as I live through the scene in my head.

The characters become the proverbial white rabbit. They want me to follow. And I am not very good at saying no.

Saying no means missed opportunities. Saying no means unexplored potential. You never know which idea is going to take you somewhere amazing. The results are often unexpected. I have found ideas that I loved have fizzled away to nothing after hours of careful contemplation. Similarly, ideas that I considered dismissing have blossomed into work that lives and breathes outside of me.

All ideas have potential. There can be merit in the tiniest speck of inspiration. I'm heading down that rabbit hole because it's where dreams are born.

I've reached the conclusion that it can't just be me, that the entire writing community is out there muttering to itself in a variety of completely inappropriate locations.

You will see them on the train or the bus or the tube. They are behind shop counters, browsing supermarket aisles and driving vans. They are answering telephones, installing software, photocopying and doing the tea run.

Boredom doesn't really exist for these people - how can it? A bus journey will never simply about getting from A to B just as a smile from a stranger, a dropped handkerchief or a spilled cup of coffee will take on lives of their own. Inspiration can't be curbed by time or place.

Even in the face of day to day minutiae, writers are always creating.

So, the next time you see someone with a vacant expression, their ink stained hands clutching a highly caffeinated beverage, give them a little room to breathe. You may be witnessing something wonderful.

You can't turn off ideas.

Who would want to?

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