I have a talent I’ve cultivated over the years that doesn’t exactly fit on a resumé: I’ve always been a good daydreamer. As I child I clocked many hours lying on my bed . . . thinking. At the time it was called “goofing off,” but I knew it was leading somewhere. As an adult I think I’ve brought daydreaming to the level of high art, something I’m proud to earn a living doing.
I was on the High Line the other day, taking a break from a tricky letter I was drafting for a client, and gazing out at the Hudson. I needed to figure out the tone of the letter. I started imagining that I had a country house in a town up the Hudson. I imagined that I commuted to my apartment on 23 Street by kayaking or canoeing downstream. (I looked that up . . . which way does the Hudson River flow on its way to New York? Down.) It was a great daydream, inspired by Stuart Little. Stuart’s a mouse, as you know, who is born into a human family in New York City. Stuart builds a canoe made out of birch bark. Because of Stuart Little I’ve always loved to canoe.
Stuart taught me a lot about independence when I was a kid and I still summon him as a reminder that anything is possible.
After that refreshing walk in the breeze and that refreshing daydream I sat down on a bench on the High Line and wrote the whole letter. My first draft was my final draft and the client liked it just the way it was.