As writer it is important to me to keep the words flowing and develop new ideas. Of course there are times when this isn’t easy. Sometimes the words don’t sound right or just don’t form. Other times I’m hit with full on writer’s block and my well of ideas is empty. These dry spells can be momentary but have stretched for months; so it’s become essential for me to take some preventative measures.
Some of my best ideas have stemmed from dreams I’ve had. As a child I had an overactive imagination, as an adult all of this imaginative potential explodes in my subconscious state. My dreamscape plays host to anything from repeats of my school days to full on apocalypse (both zombie and nuclear). They can be very intense and have been known to continue for that brief period before I’m fully awake. So I decided to take advantage and tap this unlimited source of inspiration.
In the morning I take out a note book and write down as much of the dream as I can remember, in as much detail as possible. Sometimes it’s just a few short paragraphs and other days it’s pages. Just off the back of this exercise I have developed future story ideas that are waiting to be fleshed out. It’s a brilliant way to create a bank of ideas that are unique to you. All of your influences and personal experience swirled together and filtered through you subconscious.
This exercise is also great way to boost creativity. The act of writing forces us to think more deeply, to push past the fog. Many writers like to start their writing session with a period of “warm up writing”. The aim is just to write what ever comes to mind and get the words flowing. Dream journaling kills two birds with one stone; it sets you up for your daily writing and creates future writing inspiration.
Even if you don’t consider yourself a writer this exercise is just a great way to start the day. “Morning Pages” is an exercise that first emerged in The Artist’s Way* and has been made popular by bullet journals. The idea is to sit down first thing in the morning and fill three notebook pages with a stream of consciousness. You can write about anything on your mind; even if you’re just writing about how stupid you think the exercise is. It help clear your mind and it’s an ideal time for reflection.
Whether you are writing professionally or just for yourself, dream journals are a fun way to start the day.
Do you keep of your subconcious theatre?