Nice headline, isn’t it? I thought it might get your attention. This post has nothing to do with teabags, or space for that matter. It’s in response to a writing prompt from Daily Post and partly to do with those strange dreams that we all sometimes have. I know there is a lot of psychological theory (and some bizarre mystical ones) associated with our dreams and we’ll always try to ascertain their meaning… if indeed our dreams have meaning at all.
For the writer, it can be a fine resource for inspiration unless they are just too weird. Actually, even the incredibly weird ideas can create good stories depending on our style of writing. Take the dream I had last night. I’m not going to reveal anything except to say that it got really weird at times yet at its core was what I feel is a pretty good story idea – perhaps even up to novelette level. I’ll give more details later as it begins to flesh out, but I will say that I am going to give it my first shot at dark humour / horror.
Some writers swear by their dreams for inspiration, but it is rare for me. When I had the idea for Blue, I was on the edge of sleep and waking – that strange state we call hypnagogia when the brain is doing all sorts of weird things. That is when I usually find most of my inspiration, when I am truly relaxed and my muse wakes up.
Perhaps it is something in the chemistry of our brain, where we abandon the conscious thought processes that allow us to be inspired – perhaps through dreams – and perhaps through the events of the day.
As ever, it is always advisable to keep a notepad by the side of your bed – as writers we should anyway. I was lucky in that last night’s dream occurred in the hours in which I typically wake up so they were vivid at the time and stuck in the mind while I was going through my morning routine. I was able to ponder on it slightly while eating breakfast and make notes while I looked over my jobs for today.
I need to get into the habit, I think, of writing down my dreams. No matter how strange, it’s also possible I may come up with a compelling piece of prose.
How do your dreams inspire you? Do they? Have you had any truly great ideas from dreams or that lucid state between sleep and wake?