You may remember that after one of my school visits this spring, I mentioned a student named Delilah in one of my blog entries. Delilah was determined to improve her writing and she was going to tryto take my advice and keep a journal where she would jot down her thoughts and feelings.
Well, yesterday I got an e-mail from Delilah and she updated me on her progress. She told me she's been writing about her dreams and she wanted to know if I thought that was okay. I wrote back straightaway to tell her I THOUGHT THAT WAS GREAT! So today, and thanks to Delilah for the inspiration, I'm going to blog about the connection between dreams and creativity.
I've often heard students complain that they feel as if they lack imagination -- but then they talk about their dreams, and I think WOW, WHO COULD HAVE THOUGHT OF THAT? I'm a firm believer that dreams are a great source of inspiration. Like Delilah, I write mine down, too, when I remember them -- which is only sometimes.
Many writers and filmmakers use dream sequences in their work. In stories and movies, dreams are a way of letting readers and viewers know what is going on in the deepest parts of a character.
I have had some dreams that have stayed with me all my life. I once read that 80 per cent of dreams are anxious dreams -- in dreams like these people are chasing us, or we're late for an exam, or we're in terrible trouble for something we don't quite understand. That may be why when we have a happy dream it feels so special.
Long ago, when my daughter was little, I dreamt that an old man was leaning on a fence and watching me run by. He told me, "You can do it!" And you know what, that old man's words continue to inspire me when I am having a hard day.
So when you doze off tonight, I hope you'll have a pencil and pad of paper by your bedside. And if you have a really cool dream, or a really weird one, or a super inspiring one, perhaps you'll post a comment here and let me -- and my blog readers -- know about it. Sweet dreams! And thanks, Delilah, for staying in touch!
Hi Ms. Polak,
I'm Brittany, one of the kids that listened to your lecture at Lake of Two Mountains High School a good couple of months ago. I realize you wrote this blog entry a while ago, but when I saw the word "dreams", it caught my eye, and decided to comment.
I know exactly where you and Delilah are coming from as far as dreams, creativity and writing goes. I practice remembering my dreams and lucid dreaming all the time. Often I find what I'm writing about gets carried over into my sleep, and I see my characters, settings, and new ideas for the story. I have numerous dream diaries, and I like to flip through the old ones and go, "Oh yeah, I remember when I dreamt of that!" and see if I can work it into the story.
If I remember correctly, the old man in your dream is an archtypical figure, representing a "fatherly figure", if you will, that watches over and encourages you. I know this just because I'm nuts about dreaming and have a book about it. :P
Anywho, this comment's getting pretty long, so I'll wrap it up now. I still remember your advice about writing, and am following it. I hope to get published eventually. Wish me luck!
Hey Brittany! You don't NEED ME to wish you luck on your journey to becoming a published author... that's because I have no doubt that you'll make it! It's wonderful news that you are dreaming about your stories -- and I love what you say about the archetypal fatherly figure. My dear, you sound like a REAL WRITER. And tonight, inspired by you, I'm hoping to dream about my own characters too! Thanks for checking in with the blog. Best best from Monique