It's what little girls do when they play house.
It's what little boys do when they play superheros.
Of course, but it's also what actors do when they portray characters, and make us laugh or cry or rage.
It's what artists do when they paint fantastical scenes.
It's often what songwriters do when they write love songs.
And, it's always what authors do when they write stories.
In my opinion, pretending isn't foolish. Actually, I've gotten my best ideas for stories from pretending. It also helps me stay focused. If I need to get something done, I can pretend that if I don't finish it before a certain time, a terrible misfortune will fall upon one of my family members! Okay, my pretending isn't usually that dramatic. But you get it.
When I'm trying to figure out a scene, instead of thinking it in my head, I act it out. When I'm pretending to be the character I'm writing about, it helps me to know what he/she would say, think, or do in a certain situation. Plus, it's really fun! I've acted out plenty of scenes that I didn't end up writing down for one reason or another. If I come up with a really good speech, I write it down in my binder to incorporate later.
Hm...am I the only one for whom pretending is helpful? Maybe I'm the only writer to ever consider doing something so unusual. Unique! I like it.
I think maybe the people across the street get very confused when they see a silhouette making dramatic gestures at 11 pm...