Dream journaling is that staple of creativity-enhancing courses that I’ve always skipped in the past. Honestly, my dreams are just not as interesting or coherent as the stories I come up with when awake. They largely involve me neglecting to study or show up for classes and thereby failing the Super Important Exam That Determines The Rest of My Life–Dum Da Dum! (gee, no, I’m not reliving the anxiety associated with my academic career, no sirree!).
But, I thought dream journaling might be a fun experiment for a couple weeks. I haven’t been recording daily, but here’s what I’ve gleaned from my badly-scribbled morning notes:
1. I actually dream every night. In fact, I have at least two, possibly more, distinct dreams.
2. I dream quite frequently about being in a house FULL of rooms. Rooms upon rooms upon rooms. In the latest iteration of that dream, we were staying with some friends whose decent-sized house had turned into a MANSION of high-ceilinged rooms with huge floor-to-ceiling windows. And I was creeping around this house in the middle of the night to meet with a spy (I know that plot point comes straight from Quartz!).
In other versions of this theme, our house has been many many times larger than it really is. Considering that we’ve had to remodel this place room by room, I was not thrilled by being confronted with rooms full of peeling wallpaper, asbestos-backed linoleum and ancient bathrooms with rusty claw-footed tubs. In one dream, house also had a porch exactly like David’s rental when he was bachelor and a side alley exactly like the one of my childhood home…
3. My dreams are also populated by people I barely know: moms I meet while waiting for my kids to be done with gymnastics/dance/swimming, old high school acquaintances I haven’t seen or spoken to in years. They often play major roles, which accounts for some of the bemusement I often feel in my dreams.
4. In some of my dreams I am me. And in others, I am someone else, like a bubbly college student (that was last night), some blonde(!) named Ivy/Evy, or a character in a MWT novel being chased up endless spiral stairs by Roman soldiers.
5. So far, I have not found anything that is the least bit useful for fiction writing. In fact, the only dream I can remember that inspired a story idea is one that David had. Which I appropriated because he’s not doing anything with it.
Do you dream journal? What kinds of dreams do you have? Do they help with your creative process, or coping mechanisms, in any way that you can tell?