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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

I Must Be Dreaming ...

Dream Your Way to a Great Short Story!

I’ve enjoyed sleeping for as long as I can remember. My mom may tell a different story about childhood naps and early bedtimes, but as far as I am concerned sleep is a very necessary and enjoyable activity. I sleep, therefore I dream and in recent years I’ve incorporated my dreams into my journal. Journaling my dreams has provided me with fabulous material for short stories and blog posts and has also given me ideas on how to enhance my writing to make it more vivid and exciting for the reader.

I’ve suggested dream journaling to those who have self diagnosed themselves with ‘writers block’. I personally have found that dream journaling is a great way to stop those recurring dreams or those that end too soon. Recurring dreams and those that end in the middle seem to have one thing in common – something needs attention or closure. I’ve found that by writing down what I remember about the dream and then adding the unfinished details I can find the closure my sleeping self was looking for. This may not come naturally at first, but the more you journal the easier it gets.

An example of an unfinished dream might be waking up just after you meet a handsome prince in the middle of the woods. Of course you wake up feeling like you want more: more time with the prince, possibly a kiss, etc…you want to find your happily ever after. Start by journaling or jotting down what was in the dream:

·         Tall trees

·         Brightly colored leaves

·         Singing birds

·         Small animals scampering through the woods

·         Jazz music playing quietly in the background

·         A soft blanket and an overflowing picnic basket

·         The dark haired prince with the broad shoulders and sparkling brown eyes

·         Your hair falling in ringlets down your back

·         Your yellow sundress made of the softest cotton

That’s where things stopped in the dream. The prince came into view, looked at you longingly, and beep…beep…beep your alarm clock brought you back to the reality of an empty bed, an itchy work shirt, and a tedious day of work and your demanding boss.

Use your journal and your writing talents to journal yourself an ending. Pick up right where you left off and add the details.

·         The prince sat down on the picnic blanket

·         He grabbed your hand softly and kissed your hand with his oh so soft and voluptuous lips

·         He spoke and his voice gave you a shiver because it was so deep

·         He told you that you were the princess he had dreamed about for so long and he could hardly look at you because of your astonishing beauty

·         You shared a sandwich and chatted comfortably for hours before parting ways and promising to meet at this same spot tomorrow

·         The following day he proposes and you live happily ever after in a castle on the hill overlooking the bluest river you have ever seen

Once your story has an ending you can put it together into a short story, poem, or other piece of writing. You may also find that by giving the story closure, you will not have the same dream night after night. It seems that finishing the story gives your subconscious more available space for the next great idea/story and it’s doubtful that you’ll ever run out of material for your stories.


May your paths be abundantly filled with lemons, sugar, sunshine, and dreams with happy endings!

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