Fiction writers are rarely short on inspiration in developing stories and characters. Sometimes inspiration shows up in a strange interaction during the course of a very mundane day. That moment can become a scene or birth a character. There are other ways writers glean inspiration in their daily lives. But what if you are a dreamer? Inspiration can certainly be found in those stories found in our heads as we sleep or let our minds wander during waking hours (daydreams).
Psychologists have long held that dreaming unlocks creativity and in some cases provides solutions to problems in our waking hours. For the sake of being a better writer, here are some suggestions for those of you who dream during sleep and can recall them when you wake up:
- Keep a journal and pen nearby to write keywords and themes. Write down what you can recall.
- Allow your mind to explore those themes for a work of fiction or to improve a piece you’re currently working on.
- Instead of trying to interpret the dream, re-engage it as entertainment like a movie in your head.
Daydreaming can be equally as productive in stimulating creativity and finding inspiration for a writer’s work. Unlike night dreams, daydreaming is a voluntary process we tend to ignore because it is not convenient to our everyday lives. However, we know as writers that we need to stimulate imagination in order to tell stories. Here are a few suggestions:
- Push aside your inner grownup and lean into your inner child. Spend time reliving the simplicity and freedom of thought from your youth.
- Keep a journal to list the places you want to go and the things you want to do.
- Find some inspirational scenery to soak in and allow your mind to wander as you perhaps stare at the clouds or a sunset.
Here is a really good article for more information: Use Your Dreams to be Endlessly Creative.