The Dreamer Inside, by Deborah Jenkins
I was wandering around our local area this morning, trying to get inspiration for this post. But I decided not to think about it. Instead I wanted to enjoy the sun and wind and the frills of shade stitched across the road. I was carrying a small bag of bits, a Waitrose coffee and a new library book and it struck me for the first time in ages that I had nothing to think about except now. It's so long since I've done this that it felt almost wrong. Surely, apart from this post, I had things I should be planning in my head? An article, a trip, my lessons next week? For once, all done. As I ambled along, watching the sky and the underside of leaves, I had that same feeling I had when I was little, It's hard to describe - a sort of dreamy, hypnotic this-is-now feeling. It usually involved wind and warmth and that wonderful sense of time unrolled in front of you, like at the beginning of the summer holidays, when everything would be slow. Of course in those days, there was no internet, no electronic games and only an hour of kids' TV. So slow-time was pretty much a way of life. What on earth did we do? Well, I used to change my room round, make rank perfume out of rose petals, play fairies with my friend under the oak tree across the road, and of course read.
As I got older I had to beat this dreaminess out of myself as it would sometimes get me into trouble - like going into men's toilets or leaving library books in fields. When I became a teacher, I soon realised that what other teachers most respected was EFFICIENCY! Inspirational teachers were considered inefficient, head-in the-clouds sorts. Nobody liked them. They were talked about endlessly and not in a good way. So I traded dreamy for EFFICIENT and it has stood me in good stead over the years. (Now that I'm older, I don't care. I am what I am and if they talk about me, so be it.)
But my point - my rather rambly, dreamy totally INEFFICIENT post - is about the fact that maybe we should all allow our dreamy side free sway once in a while, particularly when writing. That's what children do. They live in the moment, and inspiration strikes in unlikely ways. One of my dreamiest pupils came up with this sentence about the poem,The Highwayman, on Friday: - He rode, with a thud of hooves, through solemn trees that traced a ribbon of moonlight to her door. During the input, she spends most of her time looking out of the window. But I never mind, because so do I when I'm in there after school. In summer, it's a beautiful lemon-coloured rectangle of light with a semi-circle of sky where clouds bloom like flowers.
So, my dreamy walk got my post written. And my mid-year resolution is to be child-like, dreamy and head-in-the-clouds-ish more often, when appropriate, of course. This is the real me and it's how I get my inspiration. How about you?
Click on the link to see the novella on Amazon
Deborah Jenkins is a primary school teacher and freelance writer who has written articles, text books, devotional notes and short stories. She also writes regularly for the TES. She has completed a novella, The Evenness of Things, available as an Amazon e-book and is currently working on a full length novel. Deborah loves hats, trees and small children. After years overseas with her family, who are now grown up, she lives in south-west London with her husband, a Baptist minister, and a cat called Oliver.