Do You Get Writing Ideas From Your Dreams?

Last night I had a dream that I went to a writing group for the first time. The leader of the group asked us to spend 25 minutes writing about a real person, so I began writing a poem about a friend who I haven’t seen for a while. But I was having trouble writing it, because the letters I wrote kept changing once they were on the page. I also lost ten minutes because I had to go home and find a notebook, as I had arrived unprepared.

In some places the poem was made up entirely of dialogue between my friend and me, which I thought was an interesting approach that I hadn’t tried before – an entire poem of speech. However, I don’t think the poem itself was very good, so I don’t mind that I actually can’t remember how it went! In the dream I was writing it in a boat and while swimming, and I had written the words on my skin but when I came out of the water and went to write them in my notebook, my mother pointed out to me that the words had all washed off. I couldn’t remember them to write them down, and then I woke up.

So my question to you is: do you ever dream about writing poetry, and when you wake up do you remember the poem? Have you ever had a great idea from a dream? A while ago I began writing down my dreams as short stories and I may one day make a book of these. I was inspired by Lydia Davis, as some of her short stories are based on her dreams (for example in her collection Can’t and Won’t). Some of my dreams are very strange so do make for interesting ideas, but its very rare that I come up with actual words in my dream that are half-decent, and it’s even more rare for me to remember them when I wake up! What are your experiences with dreaming and writing?

3 thoughts on “Do You Get Writing Ideas From Your Dreams?

  1. I often dream a poem or write about a dream. There have been times when I've woken up with a line in my head and others with a complete poem. It can even happen in the daytime!

  2. My wild dreams entertained friends for years. They always told me to write, and so I have started to do that. My dreams an incredibly vivid, so it makes writing fairly easy.

  3. Yes, this has occasionally happened to me.

    I have pretty vivid dreams. Some of them would or have made very unique stories if I can think of a good ending for them.

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