I sat down to write this blog post, brimming with enthusiasm, my fingers restless to start typing. I had a brilliant idea for a fascinating post about Writer’s Block, a clever follow up to my previous two.
But when I opened up my blog, things didn’t go as well as anticipated. The white text space slowly took on an ominous sheen, its blankness turning into a mirror, reflecting its emptiness back at me, making me see that the writer’s block post in my head didn’t exist. It was a hollow idea, empty as that blank space. Writer’s block for a post about writer’s block, how ironic! So what was that great post again, exactly?
Honestly, I have no idea. As I muddled through discarded, half-formed sentences in my mind, it slowly dawned on me that I never had a good idea for a post about writer’s block – in my waking hours, but I did dream about it last night. It must have been a pretty intense dream for me to remember it vividly enough the next day to spend a few minutes mistaking it for something sort of real. This has only happened to me one other time, when I was about five years old, and I had a dream that I had a really amazing cat costume. I spent an hour going through my bedroom the next morning looking for it, even though my mom was clearly baffled by my description of its existence.
But, at least the cat costume was much more interesting than dreaming about writing about writer’s block. I think I am, officially, pretty lame. I mean, I could have been flying or talking to dragons or suddenly being an amazing guitar player. Good job, subconscious.
I’m not even having any writer’s block issues right now. My WIP is going really well, and I’ve been punching out a respectable daily word count, in spite of also being back at work full time since the Christmas holidays are over. My deadline is looming, but I’m pretty sure I’m going to make it without much trouble. (She says now, jinxing herself).
So, since this dream was ridiculous and kind of embarrassing, let’s explore some better dreams that successfully inspired real, famous projects.
- Much of Edgar Allen Poe’s poetry was inspired by his nightmares, and he believed that the ideas coming out of subconscious dreams could be extremely powerful. He wrote an essay called ‘An Opinion on Dreams.’
- Paul McCartney composted the song ‘Yesterday’ in his sleep. Apparently, he woke up with the tune in his head, and played it out on the piano. He showed it to all of his friends, certain that someone would recognise it, believing at first that he couldn’t have written it since he dreamt it.
- Stephen King came up with the idea for Dreamcatcher when he began experiencing vivid dreams while recovering from a car accident.
- Christopher Nolan found the inspiration for the film Inception from his own lucid dreams.
Lucid dreaming is a pretty interesting concept, where a person is supposed to be able to learn how to control their dreams and be an active participant. I read up on it a bit while working on this post, and apparently one of the first tactics a person should work on to learn to lucid dream is to remember your dreams as clearly as possible, to gain an understanding of the pattern of your dreams and be able to recognise when you are dreaming. Clearly, the latter is something I need to work on.
Anyone else ever find inspiration in their dreams? Do share!