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May 12, 2021

            I just did an article on dreams last year, so it’s a bit soon to revisit the subject. However, for the past few months, I’ve had some more vivid ones that broke through the barrier so that I almost recalled them.

            When I think about it, if I’d had a notebook nearby, I might have been able to jot down some details to store for later.

            The problem with that?

            My writing is so terrible, I probably couldn’t read my own writing, let alone understand any shorthand if I went into details and didn’t flesh it out. Another problem is that the effort to write it all down would also tend to make me forget what I was dreaming about in the first place.

            The solution?

            Fire up the computer.

            That’s a fine idea if it’s a weekend.

            A workday, not so great. I have a different routine which doesn’t allow for computer time. It would be a stretch to allow for notebook time.

            The fact is that making allowances to jot down dream ideas is just not worth it for me.


            It goes back to the fact that as I alluded to in my original article, none of those dreams are related to anything I’m currently writing.


            This is where dreams may matter.

            If you have better penmanship, a different set of habits waking up, maybe early morning access to a computer, maybe don’t have so many stories already in your head, this could be the golden goose for you.

            This harkens back to a recent article, Write My Story For Me. If you’re lacking inspiration, or are seeking ideas, what better way to do it than to mine your dreams?

            This might be the time to start jotting down notes from your dreams. No matter how screwy they may be, once you build a list of them, they might inspire a story idea.

            If they’re nightmares, well…that could be good and bad.

            I know of some people that keep a diary of their dreams for mental health purposes. Those diaries could be a gold mine for story ideas. They would have to be disguised, of course, to not reveal personal issues, but might be the catalyst for something great.


            Dreams aren’t always a great idea either. They can be disjointed, distorted, conflicting, or downright nightmares that make no sense at all.

            Not only that, but upon waking, just trying to recall them changes them into something else.

            They can bring back extremely unpleasant memories best left alone.

            They can trigger recurring nightmares (this could be good for horror writers).

            They can cause emotional problems.


            While I’ve sometimes had vivid dreams, and only occasional nightmares, for the most part, while sometimes vivid, I most of the time forget them as soon as I wake. I can recall the ones that recur, but they’re not something I’d want to use in a story.

            What I do use in storis are daydreams.

            I daydream. I’m fully conscious and dream up stuff all the time. This is not the same as sleep dreaming. I’m fully aware of my surroundings and am actively thinking of what I’m doing. I’m creating.

            Do I use every daydream?

            Of course not.

            I use some of them. I ponder and alter and repeat and rinse. I keep refining until I sit down and start writing. Then it just flows. Soon my daydream turns into a story.

            Is it a complete daydream?

            Of course not.

            Oftentimes it’s just a nugget of an idea. A main theme that I build on. From it, I create my A and B and then I go off on the adventure.


            When I woke this morning, I had a series of dreams I could recall for a few moments before I went on to something else. A few times I went back into the same one. Do I remember them now?



            They were not important enough, or had a great enough impact on me to rise to the top.

            That’s what usually happens.

            Did I have an urge to grab a notebook, turn on a voice recorder (if I had one), or rush in to turn on the computer?

            No because while they were sort of entertaining, as I became fully aware, I could tell they were not something I would have any practical use for. They were just dreams.

            Maybe what you dream will be like me, nothing to write home about. Maybe they will. That’s up to you to decide.

            Happy writing!

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