At the end of the first series of creative dreaming-and-writing workshops I did, my favourite feedback was from someone who said she felt as if she had been walking past the same opening in the hedge every day of her life, but never stopped to look over the gate. Now she had looked, she was astonished to find there was a whole new world on the other side to explore, which had been there all the time, unobserved.
The world of the unconscious mind on the other side of the gate is a treasure-trove for writers, and many do get ideas and inspiration from their dreams. (If you’re a writer with a dream story please get in touch – I’ll be inviting guest bloggers to share ‘The dream that sparked the book’)
But even people who value dreams and get inspiration from them usually do it in a fairly random way, rather than deliberately and consistently using their dream-life as part of their writing practice.
Creative dreaming and writing are both ways of opening to the hidden places of the psyche. You can use one to magnify the other. In my writing life, I use dreams for gathering material and for finding structures that work. I harness the currents of imagination and emotion at work in my unconscious mind in the moment to energise my writing.
In my dreamlife, I use creative writing to further explore and enhance my experience of dreaming.
This approach works brilliantly for me. I love sharing it in workshops and now I want to share it with readers too. I’m working on a book called, ‘Writing in the House of Dreams – creative dreaming for writers, creative writing for dreamers,’ which should be on publishers’ desks by the end of the year.
At parties or the pub, when I tell people I’m writing a book about dreams, they always say, ‘I had this amazing/weird/hilarious/alarming dream…’ And then they go on to recount it. I love that!
If you’ve had a memorable dream, please share!
Next week, I’ll be blogging about the thing people always say when they have finished telling their dream, ‘I don’t know what it means…’