Tuesday, September 30, 2014

IWSG: Keeping a Dream Journal

Today is IWSG day. Thanks to Alex Cavanaugh for organizing this monthly event where writers share about their writerly insecurities and other things. This IWSG day is different from others because the posts IWSG folks are sharing today will be put into an eBook called THE IWSG GUIDE TO PUBLISHING AND BEYOND.

A few years ago, I started a dream journal. As much as I want to spotlight all the colorful and surrealistic experiences I've regularly recorded in this notebook, the truth is, I don't write in it very often. But it is there when I need it. I write in it uninhibitedly, and I don’t show it to anyone. (That said, I frequently share dreams with my husband in that just-woke-up mumbling and grumbling way that I speak in after the alarm goes off.)

Here are some benefits I’ve experienced from keeping a dream journal:

-Writing about a dream can help me recognize unresolved feelings I have about a subject.
-Reflecting on a dream can help me see where I'm growing. It can also help me see when it’s time to reach out to a confidante about something that has been troubling me.
-Sometimes stuff from dreams become idea seeds that I can nurture into stories or story elements.  
-Just by having this journal, I’ve gotten better at remembering dreams, even those that I don’t write down.
-Thinking back on a bad dream empowers me to realize something that bugged me was just my mind playing tricks, and that I can always change a bad dream into a good one. So the next time I'm stuck with lousy company in a stranded elevator with a psycho unicorn stabbing its horn through the doors, I’d know better what to do.
-Remembering a good dream is like reminiscing about a great meal.

Do you keep a dream journal? Would you like to share a recent dream you had, good or bad?

Cynthia is a reader and writer who blogs regularly at readisthenewblack.blogspot.com.

I give Insecure Writers Support Group permission to use this post, about writing, in THE IWSG GUIDE TO PUBLISHING AND BEYOND.


Natalie Aguirre said...

I don't have a dream journal. I don't remember mine enough to use one. Wish I did because there's some people I'm missing that I'd love to dream about.

Pat Hatt said...

I don't keep a journal, but many a time they are in my head and I'll jot good story ideas down

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Was the crazy unicorn trying to get out of the elevator? Or into it? I can think of a number of weird/twisted/horror story ideas.... Um, what were we talking about again?

Madeline @ The Shellshank Redemption

Dianne K. Salerni said...

If I kept a dream journal, it would look like a giant To Do list! Because the only dreams I ever remember are the ones where I'm worrying about what I need to do ... Did I pack everything needed for an upcoming trip? Did I remember to put the garbage out last night? Is my mom going to watch the kitten when I go away next weekend? Seriously. I dream about those things.

Chrys Fey said...

A dream journal is an excellent idea especially since most of my story ideas come from dreams. :D

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I know so many people keep one, but my dreams are never that interesting.
Thanks for contributing to the book!

S.P. Bowers said...

I've never kept a dream journal. I used to dream a lot. Lately I'm not sleeping enough to dream. I'd like to change that.

Stephanie Faris said...

I haven't kept a dream journal...my dreams usually don't make much sense. Last night I dreamed I had a little dog I carried around everywhere, even to restaurants. The dream was fun, but not very insight-provoking!

Mike Louie said...

I've never kept a dream journal but maybe I should start. More excuses to write :)

Speaking of writing, I've decided to take my novel seriously again and get rid of the wonderful distractions (movies, video games, etc.) for November. Yup, I'll be participating in NaNoWriMo again. Slightly cheating as I'll be revising my original 2012 novel, but hey, I'm excited to focus again on this dream project.

Hope you're doing well, Cynthia!

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