Most people don’t pay much attention to their dreams. They seem to be born out of something crazy our brain does when we’re unconscious and not present to supervise our mental activities. But writers aren’t like most people. And we don’t have the luxury of dismissing this rich, frothy mix of layered meaning and symbolism that our minds give us as a gift every night.
Every writer who is serious about becoming a master should be keeping a dream journal.
It doesn’t have to be fancy. A stack of post-it notes kept on your bedside table will do the trick. Just as long as you have a writing implement and paper to receive your first waking impressions, then you’re off to an excellent start.
By recording our dreams, we give our subconscious permission to express its truth in waking life.
We are a society of rational creatures, and we prize logic and intellect above almost everything else. This isn’t a bad thing, but it does tend to leave little room for spontaneous creativity, emotional knowledge, and spiritual exploration. Since the realm of dreams doesn’t run on logic, it’s an incredibly fertile ground for any creative person to dig into. And because dreams are uniquely tailored to the person having them, they are perfectly suited to enriching the creative growth of that person.
Writing down your dreams even just once a week will help to increase the flow of your creative energy.
You can start by keeping your journal right next to your bed. When you wake up, take a few moments to gather your thoughts and impressions from your dreams. Don’t try to interpret them just yet, instead, concentrate on remembering anything that you can. Then write it all down. It doesn’t matter if none of it makes sense, or if you only have a handful of half-formed images to record. Write down whatever you remember without censoring yourself in any way. Keep in mind that your dream journal should be private and so anything that ends up there is strictly confidential.
Whenever you re-read parts of your dream journal set your intention as self-acceptance and curiosity.
Keeping a dream journal can lead to meaningful self-exploration, if the process includes consciously showing ourselves loving kindness along the way. We can do this by maintaining a neutral perspective on whatever comes up. Diving into the depths of the self takes guts. It also takes a certain level of detachment from judgment. But the artist who is able to bravely dive that deep will be richly rewarded with insight and epiphany.
The more you let your subconscious know that you acknowledge its messages to you as valuable, the more creative information you will receive from it.
The dream world is always waiting there for every writer, every night of our lives. Let’s stop shoving our dreams to the side and start taking advantage of the amazing resource right in front of us.
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