To Dream Perchance to Write

While on a retreat for my local branch of the National Writing Project this past weekend, I had a very strange dream. I was in a college course, and the instructor was going over material, which I was then transcribing on my laptop. Strangely, when the instructor saw that I was typing, she became extremely determined to prevent me from taking down any of her words, so much so that she even placed her hands over mine.

I have idea what that dream might mean, other than emphasizing  that I had been in professional development meetings all day Thursday and Friday and that classes began today, but the dream got me thinking: What determines the subjects of our dreams?  Whether they’re good dreams or nightmares? I’ve had my share of both, and often I do have a recurring dream. Thankfully that dream is a pleasant one. . . It probably wouldn’t surprise my followers to know that it involves a character from a book.

I know that there is scientific research and theory behind the study of dreams, but I haven’t read anything on it.  For me, it seems the tone of my dreams more than likely reflects my state of mind. For example, I dreamed the dream described above while I was focused on preparing for my classes and stressing out over that time I had left to work on doing so. I dream of my own personal Darcy night after night when I am relaxed, or at least not overly worried about work. And I’m not sure that the reasoning behind anyone else’s dreams works that way, but I find it interesting to consider the motives my subconscious has for creating the stories it does and whether those stories affect the ones I purposely create.

Am I sort of a Dr. Jekyll/Miss Hyde? Are the conscious and the subconscious authors who live inside me aware of one another, and if so, are they fully cooperative, or does Miss Hyde merely steal snatches of Dr. Jekyll’s work when she’s able to recall them?

I’ve read that Hemingway had a fear that his well of ideas would run dry, so he always stopped writing for the day when he knew what was coming next. If that’s so, perhaps the times when my “muse” is awake and inspiration flows from my pen like a river of ink onto the page are the times of shared consciousness for my Jekyll and Hyde selves, and the times of creative drought are when Miss Hyde refuses to share her ink pot.


One thought on “To Dream Perchance to Write

  1. Ooh, I really like this one! Dreams are very interesting… I know what you mean; I wonder what causes which, too, what makes them good or bad. I don’t have one particular recurring dream, but I have dreamed about a particular fictional character (you can probably guess who since you know me, and I won’t broadcast it here for fear of being laughed at, but like you know my interest in him is father-figure based rather than romantic…) more than once, and sometimes those dreams are good, sometimes not as good. Most often they just end with me jumping forward to hug him and then BOOM, I’m awake before he can hug me back–phooey. Anyways.

    Very odd about that instructor trying to keep you from copying her words. I’ve actually heard of some instructors refusing to let people tape-record them, though. I wonder if that has anything to do with your dream (maybe you talked about that sort of thing in one of your meetings?).

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