I had a wonderful dream last night about a piece of flash fiction I was going to write. It was a great idea, and in the dream, I loved it. Upon waking up, however, I couldn't remember what the flash fiction was. I remember that it involved a fire truck and a balloon, but that's it. I wish I could remember it because I really do think it was a good idea--not one of those things that's only good in the world of the dream.
I sometimes dream about things that I later write, or dream about writing I'm currently doing. While writing my novel, I would dream of scenes and especially conversations between my characters. Sometimes they'd be disjointed and strange, but other times, I'd have breakthroughs in my sleep and get through a scene that I was having trouble with in the waking world. Other times, I'd just see and talk to my characters, and it helped me to get to know them better.
I believe that you can attempt to "direct" your dreams towards your writing. If you go to sleep with a question about something you're writing, or a scene in your mind, I do believe that you can find the answer or finish the scene while you're asleep. Of course, I don't think this always works, but it's occasionally worked for me. I also think that this doesn't work for everybody. If you're someone who doesn't remember his or her dreams, then it probably won't work. But if you dream the way I do--every night and very vividly--then it may just work.
Another thing I do is meditate about my writing. I got into meditation several years ago, and while I'm no expert, I do pretty well with getting into a "zone". I meditate about my writing by thinking of it when I'm starting to meditate and then keeping it on my mind during the meditation session. I do mindful meditation--in other words, I don't attempt to clear my mind of all thoughts; rather, I let thoughts drift through my mind, so it's okay to let thoughts about my writing drift by. I try not to let any one thought linger for very long. Instead, I let the thoughts move through my mind in the hope that, when I write, I'll write better stuff. I'm not sure exactly how this works--I guess that while meditating, I become more familiar with what I'm working on and hence do a better job when forming it into something coherent.
- Emily Glossner Johnson
- Hello! I'm a writer from central New York who has bipolar disorder. Among other topics, I write about mental illness and writing. I have short stories published in Lynx Eye, Lost Coast Review, The Outrider Review, Sliver of Stone Magazine, The Mondegreen, The Linnet's Wings, Cobalt Review, Breath & Shadow, The Round Up, Postscripts to Darkness, Masque & Spectacle, and several other journals. I have essays about mental illness in The Ram Boutique and Amygdala Literary Magazine, and an essay in Parts Unbound: Narratives of Mental Illness & Health, a book that was published by Lime Hawk Literary Arts Collective. In December of 2016, The Mondegreen nominated my story "Santa Lucia" for a Pushcart Prize. I've written a novel entitled Purple Loosestrife and a novel entitled Hoping It Might Be So, both of which I am submitting to agents and publishers. I'm working on a novel called Dark and Bright as well as a book called Violets Are Blue: Essays About My Bipolar Life. I have a B.A. in English from SUNY Buffalo and an M.A. in English from SUNY College at Brockport. I hope you enjoy your visit to my blog!