How to Overcome Writer’s Block While You Sleep

by Guest Blogger | 74 comments

I recently dreamt that Joe Bunting, fellow contributor Monica Clark, and I were trapped in a room together overnight. We had to write 100 blog posts by dawn… or, we died.

How to Overcome Writer’s Block While You Sleep

I know it sounds silly, but you know how dreams are. It was writing or death, people! I awoke in a sweat.

Here’s the kicker: Joe wore a mustard-colored matador costume the entire time, complete with the bedazzled knickers and little black hat. I paused occasionally from our brainstorming to persuade him to change into regular clothes, but he refused because it made him more creative.

The next day, I realized…

Dreams can be used to overcome writer’s block.

Writer's Block Is Normal

Nearly every writer has struggled with writer’s block, unable to will the right words to appear on the page.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a short story, a poem or a blog post, the trick to overcoming writer's block is to turn your brain off, and your fingers on.

Easier said that done.

Your Dreams Can Overcome Writer's Block

The next time your self-loathing grows because you cannot write, switch your focus and describe a dream instead.

Rewrite something you've already experienced in your mind's eye to help switch your creative energies.

If you cannot recall a specific dream, no worries, picture a dream for the future: envision all the people at the book signing of your bestseller, imagine what outfit you’ll wear at the Academy Awards to accept an Oscar for Best Screenplay, conjure up going to dinner with your favorite author (dead or alive).

3 Final Suggestions to Beat Writer's Block

Ready to beat writer's block? Here are three final tips:

  1. Use sensory details (smell, taste, touch, sight and hearing) to make your dream come alive: Monica’s perfume drifted over our brainstorming session. It smelled exotic, like smoky jasmine mixed with citrus.
  2. Include your emotions: I clenched my fists as Joe refused for the umpteenth time to change from his silly matador costume.
  3. Stop trying so hard to write. Try to relax and have fun.  Then, apply that same amusement to whatever work currently has you stumped.

Good luck and sweet dreams!

What's the strangest dream you've ever head? Let us know in the comments section.

PRACTICE

Today, practice writing for fifteen minutes about a dream (real or imagined). Make it as scary, weird, inspiring or heartbreaking as you want!

Please share what you have written in the comments and leave feedback on someone else's writing.

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74 Comments

  1. Kenneth M. Harris

    I was in a boat floating and on each side of me there were a
    couple of jet black long sticks.

    I wanted to level the boat because the water kept rising and
    the waves splash left and right

    And at the same time, felt my body trembling, sweat rolled
    down my fact and seemed to have

    Turned left behind my ear.
    The scariest part, I had no arms!
    Suddenly, bolted up, switched

    My legs off the bed to get breath. A dream.

    This is terrible writing, but I was just trying to remember.

    Thanks

    Kenneth

    Reply
    • Trudi McKinney

      To dream that you don’t have arms! Now that would fix me right up for an unnerving day!

    • Marcy Mason McKay

      Not terrible writing at all, Kenneth. You did EXACTLY what I did. My Joe Bunting dream was so kooky that I just started writing about it when I couldn’t think of how to start my newest chapter. It got my fingers typing and brain working. Nice job.

    • Joe Bunting

      Wow, what a dream, Kenneth! I especially wondered the significance of the jet black long sticks. What do you think it means?

    • Kenneth M. Harris

      I know that this is going to sound weird, but the sticks, I believe was there because I could not grabbed them. I had no hands. This just came TO ME!

  2. Heather Galadriel McNamara

    I was looking out the window of my room, and my backyard was filled with a lighting crew like you’d see on the set of a film or TV show. All across the yard lighting rigs stood taller than the trees, making everything shine as bright as day. Wondering what the heck was going on, I peered down for a closer look. Crew members were bustling about with walkie-talkies and rolls of cables, just like an actual movie set.

    This was without a doubt the weirdest thing I’d ever seen, but before I even had time to wonder what it was all about, my eyes were arrested by the loveliest sight of all. There was Sam Heughan, the guy-crush to end all guy-crushes and who I would even watch The Real Housewives for. He cut a dashing figure in his dark grey Burberry suit as he milled about among the lighting crewmen. The lighting rigs illuminated all the strands of his ginger hair, lighting it up like a cinnamon spotlight. At that very moment, he looked up toward the window, and our eyes met. A million megawatt smile lit up his face as he waved up at me, and in a cheery Scottish accent that rolled like a river over smooth stones, he called out, “Hi, Heather!”

    And just like that, it was over. I have never wanted so badly to blow up my alarm clock in all my life. 🙁

    Reply
    • Marcy Mason McKay

      Wow, Heather. I hear the longing in your voice. Great dream — vivid, real and poignant. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Trudi McKinney

    I was walking down a stark white hallway with cathedral height walls holding monster sized boxes on shelves. Dr. Seuss like creatures popped in and out of the boxes seeming to have something to advertise. They were all in my periphery except for one who had bean pole arms and legs made of rubber. He had a tall hat and a white face. Well, he looked like ‘Cat in the Hat” only he was green and orange striped. With arrogance and agility, he came bounding down the wall using the shelves as steps.When he turned to face me I realized that these creatures were demons and this one was coming at me to do what I don’t know. Steal my soul? I woke up, thank God. I always do wake up and wonder what it would be like if I didn’t.

    Reply
    • Marcy Mason McKay

      Yowza, Trudi! Your subconscious mind has taken Cat in the Hat to a whole, new, terrifying level. I’m glad I’m not the only one with weird dreams! Thanks for the fright!

    • Sandra D

      I always thought the Cat in the Hat was scary.!

    • kim

      cat in the hat didnt mind that one but demons good story for a horror film

    • Trudi McKinney

      Thank-you Kim, Sandra D. and Marcy, for your comments.

  4. Krithika Rangarajan

    hahahahahaa – dang it, I would have loved to be a fly on the wall of your dream, Marcy! #HUGSSSS
    Unfortunately, my dreams are a direct reflection of my fears – aka snakes, serial killers, failure..lol

    Thank you for just being YOU #HUGS
    Kitto

    Reply
    • Marcy Mason McKay

      Oh my, Kitto. My dreams are KOOOOKY. This Joe Bunting dream was just tip of the iceberg. I tell myself it’s because I’m such a creative person, but who knows….:)

    • Marcy Mason McKay

      Unbelievable, Andrea. Speeding down the highway in reverse. I think that’s cool how you took the time and energy to interpret your dream to full understand the meaning behind your dream. I’ve always wanted to take a class or something to understand the symbolism of my dreams. Your comment makes me want to follow-through with that. Thanks!

  5. Connie Terpack

    You’re point #3 might be my problem. I worked so hard on novel #2 that it wore me out. I was annoyed with myself in places and with my characters in others. I gave it to Cindy, my editor and friend back in April or early May. Here it is the end of July and I’ve written only one page for the next novel. My dreams have given me ideas in the past. Even my husband had 2 dreams that will become Dana books if I ever start writing again.

    Reply
    • Marcy Mason McKay

      Hello Connnie,

      I do believe you wore yourself out with your last novel. The joy and fun are gone for you, so your inner writer does not want to come out play again.

      My suggestion would be to ease back into slowly and let yourself write the crappiest, most awful work ever. Stop putting so much pressure on yourself. Coax out the words, rather than trying to force them out. Good luck!

  6. Jerry Callison

    I use my dreams in a slightly different way. After researching material for my first novel, a YA adventure about being stranded in upstate Maine, I would go to bed, churning the new information over and over in my mind as if it was my character dealing with it. It wasn’t worrying about the story, or even trying to solve it, but just letting the character know what it was I had learned in my research. A number of times I dreamed the next scene for the book and woke up in the middle of the night to hurry downstairs and start writing. Quite a bit of my first book came to me that way. I think it was Earnest Hemingway (correct me if I’m wrong) who said you never have to rewrite what you get up in the middle of the night to write. (paraphrased) The book is in publishing now, so I guess we will see how well that worked in a few months. 🙂

    Reply
    • Marcy Mason McKay

      See, Jerry?! That is EXACTLY what I want…to go to bed, dream about my book, then get up the next day and write that scene/chapter, etc. I love the concept of writing my novel during my sleep.

      I think in order to do that I need to cut waaaaay back (again) on social media. My brain is too full of other stuff. I may do this as an experiment, then get back to everyone here @ TWP.

      THANK YOU for your comment!

    • Allyson Vondran

      I did this once actually, not get up to write but i would think of problems and think of how my character would solve them. It helps to get to really know your character.

  7. Francis G Njenga

    The moon has dropped from its holding place in heaven and it is hurtling down to earth at a terrific speed. News channels are all live with breaking news, some displaying the image of the falling moon on television screens. They say it will take less than twenty four hours for it to crash against earth.

    Hundreds of people in the city have come out of their house and are all looking up into the sky; some pointing at the growing size of the moon. In a short while its image has grown to the size of a soccer ball and growing. Soon it is as big as a house, then a mountain, and then its shadow blankets the earth.

    A scientist aims a bomb at the descending object and fires. He hits it and there is a massive explosion as huge pieces fly out and come crashing against the earth. I rise up from bed, sweating profusely

    Reply
    • Marcy Mason McKay

      Incredible, Francis. Did you actually dream that? It was powerful. Scary, but fast-paced. I enjoyed it very much. Thank you.

    • Sandra D

      very vivid idea. because i can see the moon and almost want it to come with it soft white glowy-ness it is so soothing to look at.. but then of course the sad fact is it would be a hurtling rock toward us… not as pretty as it seemed.

  8. Gigi J Wolf

    Being trapped in a room with a guy wearing knickers and a mustard-colored matador outfit is enough of a bad dream. I like yellow, but mustard color could mean anything. I’m going to research dreams, and see what this fashion statement could be saying about your psyche. Those motorcycle cop outfits with the tight pants and high boots would be much more to my liking, but probably says something just as damning about my psyche…

    Will be keeping a close eye on my dreams, cops, bulls, and men in knickers, and will give this a try-

    Reply
    • Marcy Mason McKay

      Ha, Gigi. It just struck as so funny because I’ve never met either Joe nor Monica in person, but I saw both personalities SO CLEARLY in my dream. I really do want to learn more about dreams, but I read somewhere that “dream dictionaries” aren’t that helpful because what a matador symbolizes to me, will mean something different to you.

      Still, I am so intrigued that I want to research this whole matador more anyway. PLEASE let me know what you find. Thankfully, Joe Bunting thinks my dream was hilarious! 🙂

      Please let me know if you find anything…TY

    • Christine

      A lot of times these smaller details, like the mustard yellow or the matador cape are little details we’ve glimpsed in the past day or two and just weave their way into our dreams in some bizarre way. You may have noticed an article about Spain recently and your mind automatically went to bull fights. The writing blog posts part is a lot easier to figure out. 😉

      I may talk to my cousin on the phone, mention a third person, and in my dream the phone conversation may replay, or I’m going shopping with my cousin, or the third person — or the third person may wander into my dream asking, “Why were you two talking about me?”

    • Marcy Mason McKay

      You know when you mentioned smaller details, like mustard yellow or the matador costume….it’s those little details that makes a HUGE difference in our writing, too. Interesting…

    • Christine

      Yes, and when the writer has you sitting on the edge of your seat all those little details thrown in — like what the carpet on the stairs looks like to the protagonist tiptoeing upwards and how the wallpaper roses are faded and how he/she remembers a banister like this at grandma’s house — can make you almost scream as you’re waiting for the villain to pop out from somewhere and start blasting.
      The skillful use of just enough small details to prolong suspense is a talent I very much admire.

    • Sandra D

      I like the color mustard, it is so bold in my opinion.. But yes fashion statements… interesting.

  9. Rhonda Walker

    My first novel is now in the works. I came from a dream, and in 3 parts (dreams.) I work from the first with a very distinct memory (1st person) of a young Mexican peasant girl behind a rush (bushes) as she (well, enough of that :)). The 2nd tells some more, but still not her name (which frustrates me). The 3rd dream gives me her name and the finish to the book. All I have to do is fill in the gaps. It’s firmly planted in my mind, clear as if a scribe wrote it on my brain. Yes, Marcy, dreams write, just as conscious minds do during the day. And, this story is the most vivid one yet.

    Reply
    • Marcy Mason McKay

      So COOL, Rhonda. I want to train my brain to work on my book as I sleep! Hmmm, I really might be on to something here. Thanks for the idea!

    • Warjna Waleska Kaztjmjr

      Rhonda, glad to see I’m not the only one! I have two sets (yes, that’s two separate series!) of works in progress, both of which came from dreams. The second dream was the only one that made sense, and went straight from my head onto paper for planning. The first, though, was one of those “HUH?” dreams. It was only after I’d slept on it another two nights that it came together in my head — and then it grew legs, and that’s when it turned into a series…

  10. Carrie Lynn Lewis

    Oh, Marcy!

    I used to keep a dream journal for this very reason. Every day, I’d record my dreams in the fullest possible detail. It didn’t take long before I remembered enough details to fill pages. Literally!

    I haven’t done that in a long time, but your comments about how dreams can unlock writers block have me thinking about going back to that dream journal. I could write something new every day for a couple of years and not get to the end of it.

    Writer’s block, here I come!

    Reply
    • Marcy Mason McKay

      I’m so impressed, Carrie Lynn. I’ve read down a few dreams that were really powerful, but if I did it regularly, I bet I’d understand them more, remember more details….it would be so cool!

      You’re making me give serious thought to this idea. Thanks!

    • Carrie Lynn Lewis

      Marcy,

      I hope you noticed the use of the words “used to”. Journaling my dreams got to be so time consuming, I didn’t have time left for writing stories!

      However, as I recall, some of those dreams were pretty well plotted and almost complete.

      But then my memory is usually quite rose-colored!

    • Marcy Mason McKay

      Point taken, Carrie Lynn. You “used to” keep a dream journal. Here’s to both of us taking our writing and our personal lives (’cause those dreams ARE trying to tell us something) to the next level.

    • Carrie Lynn Lewis

      Given the dreams I had this morning, you could very well be right!

    • Sandra D

      I have also recorded my dreams before. The interesting thing about dreams to me is that they are often unfinished, and waiting for me to provide the rest of the story. Good luck.

    • Carrie Lynn Lewis

      Sandra D,

      I have some dreams like that, too. But once I started recording dreams, they came more and more fully complete. Beginning, middle, and end. Sometimes one end didn’t have much to do with the other, but then a lot of my first drafts are that way, too!

  11. EndlessExposition

    This is a great exercise for me, because lately I’m been having some bizarre dreams. I think it was something in the water at my summer camp. As always, reviews are much appreciated!

    I’m angry again.

    I can’t pinpoint what it was this time. I haven’t had a fight with anyone, I’ve been turning in all my assignments, I’m getting along with my father – there’s no trail to follow backwards from my quietly simmering rage, to some identifiable cause I can use to rationalize myself into calm. It’s not the first time that I’ve been angry for no reason. It scares me.

    Anger makes me tense. Hot. Uncomfortable. I can’t even pay attention to this lecturer we’ve come to hear. It’s like there’s cotton wool in my ears. I can’t focus on anything but blinding red. Anger is a crackling thing, like lightning, behind my chest and in my eyes. I want to hit something.

    Thalia taps me on the shoulder. “Hey,” she whispers, so the lecturer can’t hear. Rude, she never wants to be rude. “Hey, what do you think of the talk?”

    I barely spare her a glance and shrug.

    “C’mon, cat got your tongue?”

    I make a noise in my throat. It’s not her fault that I feel this way, it’s not –

    She notices something’s off. Her doe eyes go soft, swirling pools of autumn-colored kindness I don’t need. The lights have gotten so bright and yellow in here, why are the lights like that –

    “Hey, is something wrong?”

    “Fuck off, Thali!”

    She pulls back the hand she was reaching out like I’d bitten it. I’ve frightened her. The crackling in my chest dissipates like fog. “Thali, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean – ”

    The eyes harden into hazel flint. She grabs her bag and coat, pushing herself out of her chair. “Leave me alone.” She rushes from the lecture hall.

    “Thali, wait!” I sprint after her, not even stopping to grab my jacket.

    Outside the night is cool and the stars glint in blue velvet like a hundred silver pieces. Thali is rushing through the parking lot, pulling on her coat. “Thali!” I catch up to her and grab her hand.

    “Let go of me!” The arm stretches out until her hand finally snaps out of my grasp. She keeps going.

    “Thali, I’m sorry!” I catch her hand again and the arm stretches as she pulls to get away from me.

    “Do I look like I care? You blew it, now leave me alone!” Her hand slips out of mine and she keeps walking.

    “Thali, please!”

    She whirls on me. “No! You do this every goddamn time and you never change! I don’t deserve to be treated like this! I’m leaving! I’m leaving you. We’re done.” She turns and vanishes into the darkness on the edge of the parking lot. She doesn’t look back.

    My knees give out. The stars flare bright in judgement, and I’m left crying alone on the asphalt. “No…please, no…I love you…”

    Reply
    • Sandra D

      awe this is sad.. and unfortunately reminds me of some rocky relationships I have been in. It flows really well in my opinion. And I get involved and care.

    • Christine

      It’s interesting that in your dream you’re angry, but you can’t understand why? I’d wonder if at some point you did listen to someone talk and what they said made you angry. You can’t remember the incident anymore, but the feeling has remained buried and woven itself into your dream.

    • Marcy Mason McKay

      Powerful, and sadly, all too true of many relationships. Unresolved anger is a dangerous thing. Thanks for sharing the dream.

  12. Jerry Callison

    Marcy, I find it works best if I do that research last thing just before sleeping. That way it is on my mind for the subconscious to work on. It is also important to mull over the thoughts as you go to sleep. The mind never totally rests, and dreams are a way of the mind getting thoughts out of the way when they are bound up inside. My mother used to say it is the way our brain cleanses itself.

    Reply
    • Marcy Mason McKay

      I’m just so TIRED at night, Jerry. The thought of researching before I can to makes feel like I won’t retain it, but it’s worth a try. “Dreams are the way our brains cleanses itself.” I like that. Thanks!

  13. Sandra D

    this is the five minute dream, there is a large spiraling spires in this church and huge stained glass arch windows. I could feel the gritty clean white sand feel beneath my finger tips, as I approached the marble slick steps, no expense excluded here. As I come in I am welcomed to the black and white checkered tile, that clicks under toe. My skirt drapes lightly over.

    I guess I am in a game of chess now, before the monuments and sculptures of peopel from way before my time, maybe it is a game I cannot know, or one I am in but don’t know of.

    I sit down at the bench and the smell of musky wood enters me, it reminds me of the cedar forests outside of the edges of town, where there is the folk who don’t go here for their mass. Yes there are groups roaming around on the outskirts, with the tallest of trees, and the wild bears, who have made a different set of rules then what is here. And who is to say? Maybe they have their own game too?

    Reply
    • Marcy Mason McKay

      Hmmm, interesting, Sandra. The pristine church, the forest and the wild bears. I really like all this. Thanks for putting your dream here with the others.

  14. Patrick

    Hi, everyone! I am starting to write a sci-fi short story series and wrote a scene that I “dreamed” on the spot. I hope at least one other person can enjoy this!

    I got off the space train and took my first step into the Solar Node, the grand station of the solar system. The ceiling was so high that I questioned its existence. Soaring pillars marked train stops. The train platform I was now on lied on the very circumference of the Solar Node, but I could not see a turn to either side. Bright lights of various colors lighted different buildings.

    “The Solar Node is not only the grand central station of our solar system. It’s also our greatest trade center. This is just one floor. There’s plenty more where that came from.”

    As I stepped further and further into this celestial masterpiece, people of all different shapes and sizes walked passed me. Surprisingly, many of them did not look that different than the people on my planet. As I walked, I pondered over who had the privilege of visiting the Solar Node. Which people were members of elite squadrons? Which people were just visitors?

    “This place is sweet!” Jacob said. “The species, the pillars, the vastness!”

    Liza reached out to touch one of the stone pillars and smiled.

    “It’s so bizarre. All these planets connected at one point anybody can meet anybody. It’s great.”

    Reply
    • Marcy Mason McKay

      Great to hear from you, Patrick. This definitely has sci-fi feel to it. I loved all the various lit-up building. Very visual. Good luck creating the rest.

  15. kim

    going underground takes earthlings to a whole different level where numbers on a letterbox are on hollow wood where the mail can be delivered. Underground are dug -out detached timber boxes as housing with buffalo grass and a wooden skylight above the ground with a maximum of 2 adults living in it . there are stairways that lead visitors to the front door, in some streets there are bus stops and small commuter passenger buses that run off solar power, and also theres a small community park ,where people ideally chatter and sit in the sun .
    The few shops that exist in the town are above ground green grocer downstairs small supermarket upstairs mens and womens clothes shop below shoe retail directly above
    . There is a walk-in cinema where people can only be seated in double chairs or singular seats and cushions you have to line up for with a sign please bring own food and refreshments .
    For those who work in the fields there are large community growing areas and arts and crafts are sold at the markets . Everybody gets the same amount of money so here there is no need for greed here.

    Reply
    • kim

      here in a ideal place I should have put tandem pushbikes or other pushbike but didnt do that maybe next time

    • Marcy Mason McKay

      Very intriguing utopia that you created, Kim. I like the addition of the tandem pushbikes. Cool!

  16. Emma Hoyle

    Freaky. About a month or so ago I had a similar dream in which I was in a group kidnapped by a guy threatening to shoot us (he killed one of us) unless we described something indescribable (the shot guy had to describe the carpet – it was a really boring carpet!)

    Reply
    • Marcy Mason McKay

      Death over boring carpet, Emma? That’s brutal. Interesting that we’ve recently had a similar dream….thanks for telling us.

  17. Francis G Njenga

    I did not finish narrating my last dream. I beg to go on…

    Huge projectiles of the blasted moon are headed to earth like falling meteors on fire. The largest of the rolling rocks, as big as Mount Everest, breaks ahead of all others and rockets down to earth at lightning speed. It blasts the earth in a huge cloud of dust, boring a deep crater hundreds of miles across. ││ Millions of terrified onlookers kneel and raise their arms up in prayer. As the earth shakes and spin on impact, the people are flung and thrown back about on the ground. Trembling, they quickly get back onto their knees and continue the prayer, rocking the bodies up and down in supplication, beseeching God in torrents of tear to spare them the impending annihilation.││ A thunderous howl roars from under the crater. So deafening is the sound that the people pad their ears with the tips of their fingers. Then the ground under them shakes again in shock-waves of tremors that fling them back to the ground, many of them piled on top of each other.││ We can all feel it as the sinking meteor bores deeper towards the center of the earth. As the people lay on their backs in fright, the risen cloud of dust moves and spins like a huge whirl storm. It comes down, spinning faster and funneling itself up. Surprised, the horrified multitude sits up and watches, their mouths wide agape. In a moment, there is another twisting of the earth as the tail and body of dust goes under into the crater to fill and cover it up completely.││ As people get back to their feet and dust themselves up, the earth begins to swell. Quickly, it balloons up, big and bigger each time. Shocked, the people look down and see through the earth. The buried moon rock has grown hundreds of times bigger and is expanding fast. Worse, it is boiling furiously; it is red hot, and it has tick tack timer which is counting down by the second… sixty… forty… twenty…! ││ A priest rises above the multitude, his stretched arm reaching over across them all. His acre of a hand has glitter of gold, and his flashing palm is inscribed with a glowing Mathew 3: 2 Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand! ││ A massive tremor comes over the earth again. The priest looks down through the earth. The moon rock has grown so big and its core is a furious sea of fire. Its surface is cracking and there are plumes of smoke gushing out in different places. The tick tack timer is louder now and counting down fast: ten… five… four…! When he raises his head up again, his face is long, forlorn, and the eyes are wells of tears. ││ He looks down at the timer again. Tick tack… three; tick tack… two; tick tack… one! In a lightning sweep of his arm, he pokes his hand through the earth and drives it down to the exploding moon rock. The whole world is shaking and swaying up and down in a massive earthquake. The terrified multitude is screaming in horror as the flying hand digs deeper and down to the inevitable doom. ││ The apocalyptic hand of the priest now trebles speed. Cracks on the hell-fire below are widening and its surface is beginning to give way. Thousands collapse as the timer finally counts down and touches the last millisecond. I close my eyes; I put my fingers inside my ears, and I shut down my mind. And then…

    Reply
    • Marcy Mason McKay

      Glad you came back and told the rest of the story, Francis. Really great tension and description. I like how you leave the story open-ended. Well done.

    • Francis G Njenga

      Thank you Marcy… I am glad you appreciate. I was writing against time… and I believe you must have seen; I have seen them too; some obvious loose threads that I should have trimmed to improve on the narrative. Thanks again.

    • Marcy Mason McKay

      No worries, Francis. That’s why this site is called The Write PRACTICE. Mistakes are part of the process.

  18. Connie Terpack

    I don’t equate frustration and annoyance as self-loathing. I am taking James Patterson’s Master Class in writing and needed a 500 word short story, so I used the dream I had the other night. It was vivid and easily remembered. I don’t want to put my story here yet until I do it for the class first. I decided not to try so hard to write like you suggested, and let my muse do the job.

    Reply
    • Marcy Mason McKay

      That’s great about taking James Patterson’s class. Let me know how it is. That’s interesting you already used a dream there. Keep encouraging your muse, rather than berating him/her and see how that change works for you!

  19. Allyson Vondran

    Macy gently touched the stone walls, eyes wide. The ancient walls were painted with history. Drawings of gods and goddess’s that use to rule, paintings of those that worshiped them yet, one stood out. A drawing of Macy was in the center. Not Macy as she was in that moment, with her brown hair and brown eyes. No, it was her in a pure white dress many elements surrounding her, eyes glowing a color she had never seen, hair flaming. People’s hands grabbed at her dress and a diamond sword hung over her head. Above it all was a women, resembling Macy’s mother. However, nothing was changed of the older women. Glancing behind her Macy stared at Nathan as he quickly skimmed through his book. Pausing he glanced up, face pale.

    “The god’s only child will stare at an image of her self and her hand doused with the blood of her pure blood will open the gates to the city of eternal life.”

    Seth stared at the brunette boy before shrugging and glancing at Macy.

    “The people who seem to write our fate seem to be quite the sadistic ones.” He laughed running an anxious hand through his dirty blonde hair.

    “Seth this is serious.” Nathan snapped closing his eyes.

    “Yes I do realize this Nathan. You know I can never go home because of this? I can be as sarcastic as I want thank you,” Seth snarled grabbing Macy’s wrist ,”Very sorry Mace but as it seems you are our god on earth.”

    Pulling a pocket knife from his pocket her slices Macy’s wrist, not even blinking as he spread her blood between her own fingers. Glaring at Nathan he slammed Macy’s hand against the stone wall.

    Reply
    • Marcy Mason McKay

      Woah, Allyson. Great. It’s both mythic and violent. This has all the makings of a great story. I enjoyed it.

    • Allyson Vondran

      Thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed it. I’m actually about to start writing the entire story soon so knowing that some people might actually enjoy it means a lot.

  20. Cynthia Franks

    I remember I first encountered the subconscious-as-story-solver technique in a screen writing class I took early in my career. The instructor said you had to train you brain for this by asking a question each night before you went to bed. I tried it. I had this old stereo and I could not figure out how to change the needle on it. I did want to bread it because it could not be replaced if I did. I asked my subconscious by thinking about it as I fell asleep and had a dream on how to remove the old needle and put in the new one. And it worked! It is something I did not think would work looking at it awake. Weird, huh?

    Reply
    • Marcy Mason McKay

      I LOVE THIS, Cynthia! Plus, “subconscious as story solver” sounds so impressive. I AM going to start doing this. As your instructor pointed out, it’s all a matter of training your brain. Our brains are muscles, which I’ll need to try this and try this and keep trying until it starts to work. I may have a whole new post on the subject!

    • Cynthia Franks

      It was the first of many strange homework assignments as I went on to study theatre and become a playwright. It has become habit with me. I am so good at it, I use my subconscious to write even when I’m awake. People tend to think I’m out there when I try to explain this, so I usually don’t.

    • Marcy Mason McKay

      Awesome, Cynthia. Who CARES what others think of you. If it’s working, keep it up! 🙂

  21. Bob Ranck

    Marcie, the power of the subconscious is not to be taken lightly. I am suddenly a believer, too.

    I have a very dear friend whose wife was dying of cancer. She was a charming woman, and a fighter. Two months before her death, I woke early in the morning from a dream in which one of my childhood-friends was also dying of that dreaded disease. The situation and cast of characters of the dream were so wildly different from the true-life situation, but I started to write the story – I was DRIVEN by the dream – about the dream and a whole, lucid story just poured out through the keyboard. It was not at all like the real-life situation, but it is five thousand words that made a cohesive, workable short story. That story is now the foundation for a book of interwoven short stories about my growing up, the lives and deaths of our friends, and the damn-fool things that so perilously divided our lives from the close brushes with devilment, disaster and death that were the early lives of a gang of us who (those of us survived nearly intact and sane, anyway) called our youth and growing up.

    Reply
    • Marcy Mason McKay

      What an amazing story, Bob. THANK YOU for taking the time to share this. You’ve been given a special task to share this story with others. Good luck in creating it.

  22. Bhaswati

    High on a rock face written in the color of a storm (now don’t ask me what is the color of a storm is , in a dream we are supposed to know such things) , a few whispered words , the moon and the stars and the seven seas of the Neptune seek you.Then the woman with the twilight colored eye-shadow says, as a mist lifts somewhere , say no more the universe is you.

    Reply
  23. Sabidin Ibrahim

    I wrote many of my powerful creative articles and poems being inspired by dream. Dreams are really profitable investment for writers!

    Reply
  24. Martha Hodges

    Marcy McKay,
    I keep coming back to this post. You really are rather funny. Maybe the next time you have a dream, or a bad dream, put me in it. Martha, the dog. I will protect you.
    xo
    Love Martha

    Reply

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  1. Start Now, 4 Steps to Writing, Sleep to Overcome Writers Block :: Top Writing Tips This Week - […] Marcy McKayby Marcy McKay I recently dreamed that The Write Practice owner, Joe Bunting, Monica Clark (TWP regular contributor),…
  2. Links and Articles | Off the Mark and Roaming - […] Ready to beat writer’s block? Here are three final tips: https://thewritepractice.com/writers-block-dreams/ […]

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