Finding Inspiration: The Cloudy Space Between Dreams and Reality

Inspiration. It can come from anywhere. As a writer, I find that a lot of my story ideas come from the dreams that I have. Sure, story ideas come from other places too: tv, books, news, places that you see, events that you experience.

Creating a story based on your dreams however, is a much more unique experience. It depends on the dreamer of course, but unless your dreams are simply replays of your daily experiences or of what you watched on tv the day before, you are starting from a completely unique and creative perspective.

No one else is going to have the exact same dream that you had. Sure there are common types of dreams, but they are still unique to each individual’s perspective. I’m not a dream expert. All I know is what I experience and what my friends and family experience. My husband doesn’t dream at all. I dream all of the time and apparently have waking dreams.

I don’t usually have the kind of dreams that create a whole story, though I’m sure that some people do. It’s reflecting on dreams and using them as a spark of inspiration that helps me come up with stories. By the time that I finish this creative process, I might not even recognize my original dream as a part of the story.

I guess in the end the point is that it is important to be open to inspiration wherever it may come from. We can’t force ourselves to have creative dreams just like we can’t force ourselves to feel inspired. We can, however, reflect on our dreams and experiences in the hopes of being inspired. With a little luck, our minds will open up to that magical place where a good story is waiting.

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I love the contrast of sharp clarity and vague blurs in this picture. It’s like the flux of a waking dream, the flux between what is real and what is imagined. It’s like the beginnings of an idea and the realization of that idea. It’s a metaphor. It’s reality.

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