As a young girl, I was a big daydreamer. While my teachers tried to fill my blank mind with science or math or proper grammar, my head was crowded with imaginary friends, chestnut horses, and rainbow unicorns. Make-believe scenes reeled through my mind on a daily basis.
In forty-some years, not much has changed.
Now, however, I use my dreaming mind as a tool to find story ideas, develop character and plot, or find the perfect word for a poem. Read more
As I write this, I’m thinking about following the advice of my blogging partner and taking a nap. That’s because I woke up extra early this morning to write in my dream state.
If you read my last blog post, you know that I decided to turn myself into a morning person after reading the book, “From Where You Dream.”
Here’s more about how I did it and what I learned, starting with a note I had sent to my writer’s group back when I started waking up early: Read more
Most people know whether they’re morning people or night people. I’m pretty sure I’m a hybrid. I love early mornings, but I also like to stay up late. Of course, it’s pretty hard to be both ways for long before you crash and burn and have to catch up on sleeping, which I also enjoy.
And despite the fact that I enjoy mornings, I’m not usually one of those ultra early risers. That changed when I read Robert Olen Butler’s book From Where You Dream. This book had a huge influence on my approach to writing.
Art does not come from what you know – the mind, Butler says. Art comes from the place where you dream. Art comes from your unconscious; it comes from the white-hot center of you. Do not “will” the work, Butler says. Write when you feel it’s coming from your unconscious. Butler’s instructions reminds me of how writer John Gardner described novels as “vivid, continuous dreams.”
I was intrigued by what Butler had to say about writing in your “dream state.” I wanted to see how my writing could be different with this approach. I wanted to be more committed to a daily writing practice. Like most writers who juggle writing along with full-time jobs and all the other stuff in life, I had been thinking about my schedule and how I could increase my writing time. I knew writing first thing in the morning was my best chance to write every day before other events or interruptions could interfere — best laid plans and all that. I was ready to put myself in a trance. Read more