Dreams as Inspiration

 As a psychology minor I've always been facinated by dreaming.  Dreams are often messages from our subconcious and interpreting them can be fun and useful.  I keep a dream journal where I jot down the more interesting or unusual dreams that I have.  I like to underline keywords or phrazes and title each dream so I can find what I'm looking for when I go back to it.  In fact, my dream journal is highly annotated with notes on symbols and potential plotlines, locations, ect. 

Some people have a hard time remembering their dreams.  It helps to lie in bed after you wake up from a dream and think about the context.  Think about what the dream could mean, about where it would have gone if you hadn't woken up, and about what you could do to make it into a story. 

In my college psych classes I was instructed to keep a notebook by my bed in case I woke up from a dream in the middle of the night.  This helped me to start remembering my dreams.  These days I use my cell phone so I don't have to turn on the light and wake the kiddies.  I text myself the keywords in my dream then in the morning the texts help me to recall it more clearly . . . unless its jarbled and incomprehinsible as frequently happens.

If you get into interpreting dreams you'll find all sorts of symbolism.  As writers we all love our symbolism!  I've definately used symbols from dreams to help create a mood and setting for a scene.  For example dreaming of an amusement park (my dream from last night) can mean that I need to let go and have some fun.  If that fits in with my aims for my character I might have her go to an amusement park and let loose, if I do this right it will also show character progression.

Also, I'm the kind of writer who likes to know what my characters are dreaming about, it gives me insight into their psyche.  I'll write out a character dream as a writing prompt to get the juices flowing. . . in one of my manuscripts the main character pays particularly close attention to her dreams so some of those prompts ended up in the final draft.

What about you?  Have you had any useful dreams lately?


  1. Hi there! Just hopping over from Writers' Ally. Thanks for the comment and the visit. Looking forward to getting to know you!

  2. I have always had vivid dreams. Some of them are recurring (going back to college) but lots of times they are just weird, weird, weird. I have a very active night life, so to speak!

  3. Hi, I found your blog through Good Reads. My blog is fairly new as well and I could use some more followers too if you get a chance to stop by. www.bookblogstuff.blogspot.com

    Love your post about dreams. When I was younger I had very detailed dreams that were incredible. I remember feeling bad if I did not have a dream during the night. Dreaming gave me exciting energy. I rarely dream anymore but really appreciate it when I do :) Have you read
    Gossamer by Lois Lowry? It's about a spirit who is in training to give out dreams.

    I also have a website for parents and children to share the great books they are reading. Visit us at www.bookblogfun.doodlekit.com

    Happy Blogging!!
    ~ Lauri Chandler

  4. Sheri, thanks for the follow! I look forward to getting to know you too :) PS. LOVE your blog & seriously love that you're a rebel!

    Lydia, ha ha lol! You and me both. Cheers to crazy dreams!

    Lauri, I'm following you now too :) I look forward to getting to know you! I haven't read Gossamer, but I love Lowry so I'll definately check it out. Thanks for the recommendation! Books = love :D


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