Sunday, September 26, 2010


These dreams go on when I close my eyes
Every second of the night I live another life
These dreams that sleep when it's cold outside
Every moment I'm awake the further I'm away.

Heart, These Dreams

In August, I read an essay on entitled “Unleash Your Creative Genius.” The essay was about the power of dreams and how to unleash your creative mind. The writer had some interesting things to say about the dream state and suggested a number of things to do to harness all that untapped creative energy.

First and foremost, get your zees. If you don’t sleep you can’t dream. Makes sense, huh?

Second, keep a pen and notepad by your bed and when you wake up from that dream about Linda Ronstadt the Singing Fish, write it down. An actual dream of mine, I kid you not! They kept her in a special aquarium and . . .

Never mind. You don’t want to hear about Loren Greene from Bonanza and how he saved Linda Ronstadt the Singing Fish from drowning. (She was actually a dolphin, but Linda Ronstadt the Singing Fish sounds better.)

And, no, I never did shrooms.

Third, think about your dreams and look for hidden messages. Your mind may be trying to tell you something about your current project. Or it might be giving you a whole new book idea!

Fourth, give your creative mind a project to work on while you’re asleep. Plot problems? Tell your mind to solve it while you’re asleep.

Fifth, take power naps. This is one of my favorites. Being a working mother/wife/chauffer to a teenager/writer with a deadline/sometimes housekeeper/personal shopper (hey, groceries count!) I often take a quick power nap during my lunch hour. I am fortunate to have my own office, which allows me to partake of this luxury. I close the door, prop my feet in a chair, put my head back and cop a snooze. You’ll be surprised what your busy dreaming brain can come up with in the space of twenty minutes.

Why does it work? Think about it. Your dreaming mind is free of the blocks and negative drains we carry around with our waking selves. The things that shut us down when we’re vertical can’t stop our unfettered creative alter egos!

On a personal note, I am not a morning person. It takes me a while to face the new day. What works for me is to take advantage of that drifting time, the few minutes that I doze, half awake/half asleep before I’m fully alert. In that drowsy state, my creative mind is gnawing on a writing problem, whirling with ideas, and stretching into places I would not venture when fully conscious.

So unleash your dreams and become a better writer.

Think this is a bunch of hooey? Try it. It works. At least you won’t lose any sleep over it.


Louisa Cornell said...

Hey, I like the Linda Ronstadt Singing Fish story !

Another plus of dreams is that they are an indication that you are getting really good sleep. You can only dream during REM sleep, the deepest phase of sleep. So, the more dreams you have, the better you are sleeping.

I do keep pad and pen next to my bed in case I wake up with a great idea.

I haven't tried directing my dreams but I think I will. I need all the help I can get!

Carla Swafford said...

Dreams give great ideas! I have a few written down though I have made stories out of them yet.

Love Linda Ranstadt. Fish or not. LOL!

Jeanie said...

Louisa, you don't need much help in the imagination department. You're during pretty good wide awake! But if anyone can direct their dreams, it will be you.

Jeanie said...

Carla, I'm sure those dreams of yours will make it into a story. You're another one with a never-ending supply of ideas, and that's a great place to be.

M.V.Freeman said...

I'm all about dreams! That is where the majority of my story ideas come from--So I fully embrace this. :-)

Now, if only it would just stick to one story as long as I'm writing it....

Great blog Jeanie! (I'm going to work on that power nap!)

Jeanie said...

Mary, so cool that you dream stories. Sometimes, I dream I'm sitting in a theater. I sit in the audience and watch the story unfold on the screen. And I tend to see things in images in my head when I write, like a trailer for a movie. That's why that workshop at RWA on using screenwriting techniques in fiction writing was so interesting to me.

Christine said...

I have an active nocturnal dream life, but I have never written anything based on my dreams. I do keep a notebook by the bed for those early morning drifting moments when the stories and characters I am working on start invading my mind (and wake me up early!).

Great post!

Jeanie said...

Christine, that drifting time works for me too. On the down side, if something (like my hubby or children or the telephone or the dogs) wakes me up enough to start my brain spinning, I'm done with sleeping for the day.

Stern Rake Studio said...

I submitted a short story to PNWA's writing contest last year, which was based entirely on a dream. I've shelved it for now only because I have other projects I'm working on.


Jeanie said...

Ted, so very cool I would love to hear about that dream! Isn't it amazing what our minds can do?