Writers can often drift off into their own worlds. Since the craft is centered around creating a world with your vast imagination, you can slip into it out of habit without even noticing. Whether you’re reimagining a scenario from your own life or analyzing other people’s actions, you can distract yourself with these thoughts to the point where you’re not even paying attention to what is actually going on in front of you.
If you’re looking to become a better writer, you might want to take control of your imagination and harness the power. It’s obviously a great benefit for a writer to be able to generate stories and characters well. However, in order for them to be relatable, you must base them off of real people and situations. You can only do this if you’re actually living your life and picking up on key details.
You might find yourself at a group dinner in a big conversation where you don’t have to be responsible for listening to every sentence. Your mind can slip in and out of the conversation so that you can bounce around between the thoughts in your head. Instead of doing this, try to listen and participate in the conversation. You’ll have plenty of time for daydreaming and inventing situations when you’re alone and preparing to write. Use the opportunities you have to gather data about people and engage in real conversations. That will be more helpful to you than the half-baked ideas you might toss around between anecdotes.
Writers need experience. In this sense, experience isn’t just in terms of how much you’ve written or your knowledge of your chosen medium. You also need life experience. If you’re constantly living your life in your own head, creating a separate world in your imagination then you’re not engaging in the real world. The real world is where your audience is and it’s the one they understand. Make sure to remain grounded in it so your imagined world will be relatable and rooted in truth.