Paul McCartney claims to have heard the entire melody for Yesterday in a dream. My dreams are more pedestrian. If I’m stressed, I dream I’m in high school and cannot find my next classroom. If I read about someone during the day, they may appear in my dreams. Binge-watching almost guarantees characters or scenes from the show settling into my dream world.
I’m struck by the connection between creating during the day and generative dreams. Is it related to one of my recurring themes on this site: the importance of continually working the creative muscle?
Working ten hours a day creates work dreams. If I, instead, spent three or four hours working on stories and writing, would my dreams reflect the same? If I didn’t dream about TV shows or manifestations of stress, would my Yesterday appear?
It’s naïve to think I wouldn’t have stressors. Other things would fill that space. But maybe a little more room would help? And if my mind reacted to the increased effort of working through writing problems rather than politics at work, all the better.
One of my frustrations is my story ideas are based in reality, with real people working through problems. I’ve recently encountered a term for this: low stakes. And that’s not a compliment. If my unconscious would do more work, could my ideas become larger? More surreal? Include different worlds or incredible characters?
Is there a way to hack the process? One of the stoic habits I’ve always considered but never implemented is writing out all of my thoughts and worries before going to bed. This works with Morning Pages… clearing out my head in the morning leaves me free to write and face a new day.