Last night I had a dream within a dream … I knew while I was dreaming that it was a dream, and then I analyzed the dream in my dream. Exhausting, I know. When I exited the — somewhat frightening — initial dream and began analyzing it, I began to think that the story should be written down (in my dream). That it could be at least a short story if not a novel. I came up with names, ways to describe certain events … it was all quite intriguing.
I awoke thinking about it … not terribly focused, but it has floated around my mind throughout the day. The most intriguing part of the story is that my character was so completely opposite from me. From where she lived to what was important in her life to what her fears were — completely different from anything familiar to me.
Some writers staunchly adhere to the “Write What You Know” method. Yet others insist that as long as a writer has empathy, a good story can be written. This dream last night, in all honesty, was neither for me. I don’t know it, and in the daylight, I don’t particularly empathize with the main character.
Despite this, I wonder if I should put the ideas on paper (or on screen). Could these dream-induced ideas twist into a gripping storyline? Enough to write a short story? A novel?
Writing is in my blood. I’ve known this for a very long time. Words make me immeasurably happy, and writing gives me a sense of confidence and ownership that I am only aware of because it is missing when I stop writing. I even want to own a vintage typewriter, and imagine that someday I will from it type some piece of literary genius that will get me at least 15 minutes of fame.
I have yet to determine what, if anything other than a blog, I will write. As a young teenager, I wrote some poetry. I don’t think I am a poet. In high school and college I wrote articles for school papers. I don’t think I am a journalist. I have never penned a short story, let alone a novel, but I am beginning to think that there is at least one of these inside me.
Last night isn’t the first time I had inspiration for a story. Last time, I was enthusiastic for a few days, and then allowed myself to become stifled at the prospect of coming up with so many words to form an official story with a beginning, middle, and end. With characters, a plot line, a climax, and a conclusion.
Now as I lay here in bed, awake far later than I intended to be, I am beginning to think that maybe, just in case, I should keep some kind of journal where these dreams, innermost thoughts, observations, characters and storylines can live.
And maybe someday I can marry my life experiences and empathies with snippets of dreams and imagination and weave together a real story. Maybe I’ll even get my 15 minutes of fame.