Friday, May 20, 2011

Dream the Day Away

"Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night" - Edgar Allan Poe

We're all dreamers... I doubt any of us would be in this business if we weren't. Dreams fuel our ideas, provide energy for our imaginations, and lay the foundation for our creativity.

Some of our most memorable dreams happen while we sleep... those dreams create their own stories... we're just lucky enough to witness them. But the dreams that take place during the day, while we're awake and fully conscious, are the ones that we control.

I find some of my best ideas occur on the train ride to work. Usually I'm reading, but some days, I do nothing but stare out the window and watch the sun glitter across the lake until the train curves around the bend... and the scene changes to trees and houses whizzing by like meteorites... but amidst the gentle rocking and hum of conversation and newspaper pages turning, it happens.

The ideas start to flow.

It's hard to give into your daydreams when you're supposed to be concentrating on your day job, or feeding the baby, or mowing the lawn, or figuring out how you're going to make your next mortgage payment, but in those quiet moments.. the ones that are yours and yours alone, that's when you can let your imagination run wild... and before you know it, that jungle finds its way onto the pages.

Just this past week I was struggling with a chapter that needed to be changed. It wasn't one I could just delete; it needed a whole new direction. And on Wednesday morning, as the rain pelted against the grimy window, the sun nowhere to be seen, it came to me. And not only that, but it just might be a very important factor in the rest of the series.

So let your dreams run rampant, day or night... let them get a firm hold on you and lift you to the sky... you don't need a train ride, but it sure helps ;)

Are you a daydreamer? A night dreamer? When do your ideas flow the most freely? Anybody have to take the train everyday?

35 comments:

alberta ross said...

day dreamer - night dreams vanish before i wake (except one I had thirty years ago which found its way into my short stories!!) - I find tho' as well as when I'm driving /gardening etc the best ideas come in that halfwake/half sleep thingy one gets when having a doze

A Serenade for Solitude said...

You know, I get a lot of inspiration while on the treadmill, actually! It must be for the fact that it is the short period of time throughout the day that I am without children. I keep a wee notebook on hand and write down the things that I can't let slip away. :)

Stephanie Thornton said...

My dreams at night are barely coherent--they'd never make for a decent story. But my mind does unravel some great stuff when I'm doing next to nothing.

Now I just need more time to do next to nothing. Thank goodness for summer!

Nicole MacDonald said...

Daydreams are awesome, I get them all sorts of places and often when I run too (like the commenter above). Night dreams can be random but can also play out like a movie, sound tracks and all ;p
Re-edited vsn of The Arrival now up and just .99c for May ONLY

Rachna Chhabria said...

I get my inspiration when I am reading or working out. Even while I am teaching, certain ideas just find their way into my mind.

Al said...

I am most definitely a day dreamer.
I spend an hour each way on the train each day.
I don't just dream, I take my netbook and write!

Joanne said...

Many ideas come to me while walking, talking out plot points with a friend or daughter, or just talking life in general. It's all a part of the writing process.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Daydreamer. And I wish I could do it while mowing the lawn! So boring...

notesfromnadir said...

That sounds like a creativity inducing train ride if you get to see a lake! Let it flow!:)

The Happy Whisk said...

Those rainy writing mornings are some of my favorite. Even though my desk is in a new place where I can't see the rain, I can hear it.

Love that.

How long is your train ride?

Holly Ruggiero said...

Day dreamer and night dreamer. Both help me work though plot or character issues.

Saumya said...

Yay! I'm so happy that your direction change came to you. I dream around the clock which is probably why I don't get much done.

Janet Johnson said...

Totally a daydreamer. And yay for figuring out the chapter! Congrats for sure. :)

Alleged Author said...

Just quit smoking a month ago and had a dream last night that I smoked 4 cigarettes in succession. Does that count as a daydream? :P

Jennifer Fabulous said...

You're lucky to have a train ride every day to work. That does seem like the perfect time for day dreaming. I honestly don't have a lot of time for that luxury.

I'm always surrounded by people talking or annoying me. The only time it seems I am alone is when I'm driving in my car and that can get dangerous. Lol.

I should fix that. :)

Lindsay N. Currie said...

Oh man, I daydream all the time. Sometimes I discover I'm supposed to be doing one thing and in reality, I'm just kinda. . .not LOL! I also sometimes have trouble staying asleep, but I think that's my overactive imagination.

alexia said...

I drive 50 minutes to get to work, so that's my brainstorming time.

Kenda said...

Day dreamer, definitely--and most times the ideas come while on my walks. I lace up the shoes and head out for a three-mile walk 3-4 times a week. I sure look forward to those jaunts--I stuff 3x5 cards and a stubby pencil in my pocket so I'm ready when the thoughts hit me!

Sandra Cox said...

Well said! Sometimes the ideas come when I'm walking, sometimes when doing the laundry:) Its just a matter of listening to them.

Dawn Simon said...

I'm a daydreamer and a night dreamer! Sometimes doing dishes or folding laundry gets my dreams flowing--or helps me solve a sticky plot issue!

You write beautifully. I not only enjoyed what you were saying in your post, but how you said it. :)

Lynda R Young said...

my best dreams happen when I'm a long way from a notebook ;)

Jemi Fraser said...

I have very vivid (& usually quite terrifying) night dreams so I find day dreams relaxing and enjoyable. Most of my thinking comes either when I'm walking or trying to fall asleep :)

Talli Roland said...

I'm having a deja vu! I was sure I commented here already. Maybe I was dreaming...

Missed Periods said...

Daydreaming definitely. My brain is exhausted by 4pm.

Margaret said...

I do a lot of good thinking when I walk, and, Lynda, I will inevitably have forgotten my journal.

Shari said...

I definitely dream more during the day than at night, which is good, 'cause I can actually remember the dreams and write them down.

Medeia Sharif said...

I'm a daydreamer. Unless something needs a lot of my concentration, I daydream all the time.

Stephen Tremp said...

I dream all day and all night long. I think this is a gift writers and artists and muscicians have. The ability to think of something, believe it can be done, and the follow through.

Krispy said...

Dreams at night can be really inspiring because there's no internal editor at all. It all just happens, ideas upon ideas. The trick is remembering them!

But I totally daydream too, and that's where I work things out or pursue tangents. It's usually when you're sort of doing something else though that the ideas really hit. Like for me, my ideas flow best in the shower. Can't daydream too much on my commute because I drive!

Michelle Teacress said...

I love getting ideas from dreams - day and night. I have often wish I wrote them down so I didn't forget.

Rebecca Kiel said...

I find car rides and the treadmill are good places to brainstorm. Maybe it's the solitude. Maybe it's the music. But it works!

Jai Joshi said...

I've had some great ideas come to me while on trains. And some of my best ideas come to me when I'm driving. Maybe it's something about the act of being in motion, or traveling somewhere, of getting from point a to point b that inspires the mind.

Jai

Will Burke said...

I find that dreaming comes naturally when I'm doing something physical, like walking the dog, or yard work.

The Red Angel said...

I tend to have some pretty bizarre dreams, and actually some of my story ideas have come from them. There were times when I actually got pretty creeped out by my dreams though--I mean, they were so detailed and real and wild, you know? But I would write down everything I remember and it's like I've constructed an entire scene or even a whole new world based on just one dream I had.

~TRA

http://xtheredangelx.blogspot.com

Curmudgeon said...

Until I got my leg in a cast the shower worked best for me. I do goal setting for fifteen minutes per night while relaxed. Then when I wake up thoughts and ideas attack me. It sounds complicated but for me its mindless.If I have a slow day (and recently no decent shower), I follow my breath to empty my mind and when the mind struggles not to die thoughts start popping.I'm not sure if it's dreaming or directed dreaming or even what we're talking about. If nothing else It enhances my ability to be spontaneous.I also write short articles that chapters grow out of.