Someone once told me that writers have especially intuitive dreams. I’ve had some soul-shaking ones, and last week’s was a doozy. But more on that later.
So I consulted the Internet. Turns out there are whole books on the subject of writers and dreams.
Did you know that without dreams we wouldn’t have Frankenstein, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, Catch-22, Misery, or even Twilight? All of these stories came to authors by way of dreams.
Think this all sounds like a bunch of hippie-dippie nonsense? Scientific American says otherwise.
On average, there are several areas [of the brain] that are more active than they would be during the waking state: parts of the visual cortex, parts of the motor cortex, and certain motion-sensing areas deeper in the brain. That’s probably related to why dreams are so very visual compared to other sensory modes… There are other areas that are less active on average during REM sleep. Those are the prefrontal areas, which have to do with the fine points of logical reasoning and also where you might say censorship resides… That seems to be why our dreams sometimes come up with really creative, interesting solutions.
Do you pay attention to your dreams? Research shows… maybe you should.
In a week-long study by Jordan Lite, senior editor at Weill Cornell Medical College, 25% of students who tried to solve a problem by dreaming about it actually did. And 50% dreamed about the problem, even if they weren’t able to come up with a viable solution.
Just think about your subject matter before you go to bed. You can really make the idea stick by putting a visual image of it by your bed. According to the Scientific American article:
Equally important, don’t jump out of bed when you wake up—almost half of dream content is lost if you get distracted. Lie there, don’t do anything else. If you don’t recall a dream immediately, see if you feel a particular emotion—the whole dream could come flooding back.
That’s it. Pretty simple, right? So why not try it?
What are your dreams telling you?
I’m curious to hear your results, if you’re willing to share.
And as for my dream, the one that sent me down this dreamy rabbit hole of inspiration? I had another dream of Sue. It was quick, and she just had three things to tell me. She made me repeat them, so I’d remember:
- Be inspired.
- Enjoy the little things every day.
- Never stop creating.
Check, check, check.