Disclaimer: This post contains images that depict mild nudity
Where do ideas come from? Well that should be an obvious answer. They com from our minds. But as obvious as it seems, it’s really far more complicated than that. Ideas are formed from countless experiences, people, and things from the real world. All of those things are then organized into different patterns and from this, you can get a story. Just as stories are formed like this, so too are dreams. Stories and dreams are often one in the same. I’m not talking about dreams or goals for the future, I mean breaking reality, creating your own worlds, being at the mercy of your subconscious as it processes all of those experiences, people, and things from the real world. Dreams are the raw forms of stories, and they are an incredibly amazing tool to use when writing.
As we all know, dreams are fleeting. Many people don’t remember them at all, or lose details very quickly. When dreaming, things are usually out of your control. Things often to make sense. It seems like this would be a terrible reference of writing, because who would want to read about the nightmare of standing in class in your underwear while pink dogs float through the air? Not many, but does that mean these dreams may be useless? I can’t say. No one can say for sure, so why not try to remember? You never know what random element from a jumble of colors and sounds may fit perfectly into your picture, even if it just looks like a jumbled mess.
Everyone dreams differently. The subconscious is really an amazing thing and it is unique between each and every person. Because of this, the advice I can give for how I remember my dreams may not work for everyone. It’ll likely work for very few, but I write this regardless on the off chance that I can help anyone. That’s what this is all about, right?
The first step is to try and have vivid dreams. Listening to soft music and thinking about creative elements is a good way to prepare your brain to dream vividly. Your brain never shuts down, even when you rest. It’s only processing everything, and so if you put it into a position of creativity, then that processing might also be done in a creative fashion.
Next is to prepare yourself for a good, long sleep. The most vivid dreaming happens in the REM state, which stands for rapid eye movement. It is achieved after about four hours of sleep, so if you are waking up constantly in the night, achieving vivid dreams will be much harder.
Keep a notebook and pen right next to your bed. When you do wake up from a dream, the details and pictures will trickle away like water, so you have to write them down quickly. I don’t care what time it is. I don’t care how long it will take. If I wake up from a vivid dream, I always write it down immediately with as much detail as I remember. This way, I can refer to it when I’m more awake.
If you do these three simple things consistently, then you’re likely to get some pretty interesting ideas from your dreams.
Lastly, should you use everything in your dreams for stories? Of course not! Dreams are crazy. They hold some of the deepest emotions in our subconscious. They are wrapped in chaos and symbolism. Most things won’t even make sense to you, so how would they make sense to any kind of a reader? But in this state, we find our raw creativity. The most base part of our very selves that deserves to be heard. That’s why I encourage you to write down everything you can. Take all those elements because you never know which may be important. You may even discover something amazing about yourself in the process. So good luck. Dream happily, and dream horribly, for all of it is a part of you and your creativity.
All the pictures provided were drawn by me, Marlena Money
A special shout out to these images, for they came directly from my personal dreams
We're all writers, we're all moms, writing our way through the "brambles" of life and our stories.