I prefer to work late at night. As I slide towards sleep, and hover in that odd zone, I could begin to somewhat believe in a ghost that I’m writing about. My imagination is much more likely to engulf my consciousness.
I can, between 11pm and 8am, convince myself on a level that I can’t during the day, that dryads exist or that a man could be seduced by cockroaches, something that my mind balks at even now, at 2:13pm at work.
That being said, I have some other coping mechanisms during the day for sliding in. Notes from the night before, written impressions, and music.
I’ve had to rely on music very heavily to drag myself into a half hypnotic state of belief in the irreal. And trust me, I don’t go there easy.
On the other hand, it always reveals to me a significant difference between me and most people in the world. I don’t believe in ghosts or anything supernatural, though I will tinker with the idea for fun on occasion in the name of literature. But many people do. In fact, my cold rationality is the minority, as is Pullman’s. When Chris Carter did the X Files half the episodes were supposed to have Mulder right, and the other half Sculley right, but ratings pretty much drove the rational answer epidosdes into oblivion in favor the of the weird and supernatural ones. Like Mulder, people ‘want to believe.’