7 Reasons Why Creative Writers Should Keep a Dream Journal

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As writers, we’re constantly prodding at our subconscious minds, digging for new ideas and for creative ways to share our thoughts.

Writing your dreams down into a diary gives you an opportunity to write something without marinating literary devices and plot points. You can write

It’s easy enough to do, you don’t need to write an entire short story when you pick up your notebook of paper or electronic variety. Just scribble down a few quick sentences, let the blossom into paragraphs if they want to, of exactly what happened in your dream. For once, you don’t need to worry about SEO readability or making a proper plot arc; just write something down for the pure pleasure of writing it.

1. You can analyze your dreams and find recurring events or themes.

This is fun simply for self-exploration and getting to know your imagination a little better. There are a lot of different theories on precisely why we dream, which includes everything from organizing memories to mentally rehearsing situations our subconscious mind thinks we might experience.

This is one of the lighter elements, but it’s still a fun one. For me personally, I often have recurring locations in my dreams. The events will be different, but the locations will be the same, and they’re often locations I’ve never actually visited before. This is just one small example of the interesting things you’ll discover.

2. It takes a little thought and creativity.

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You’re getting your mind working right away in the morning, but in a way that feels constructive and thoughtful.

If you have time, transition from dream recording directly into one of your other writing projects. After greasing the wheels with a writing activity that relies purely on recollection and not research or brainstorming, you might find it a little easier to delve into those more demanding types of writing.

3. Writing practice!

Practice makes perfect is more than just a phrase they tell you when you’re learning to write in cursive. Writing your dreams down is an act of freewriting. As you find the words to describe your dreams, you’re exercising your writing muscles in a gentle, fun way.

4. It puts you into a routine of brief writing exercises.

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It’s okay that they’re short. They don’t have to be long, the important thing is that you’re writing every day. If you don’t remember your dream, for the sake of consistency, pick up your dream journal and make a note that you don’t remember. It’s important for building the routine.

This routine is specifically helpful if you’re looking to get writer or editor in your next job title. Foster consistency is important.

5. You can draw on your dreams for ideas for fiction and poetry.

Now, you won’t always have dreams that make for perfect, succinct short stories with a beginning, middle, and an ending. They will happen sometimes, but at least in my experience, it’s pretty occasional. Dreams are often more focused on moments than proper narrative arcs.

Regardless, building a story around what you see in your dreams can be even more fun than a random prompt generator. Dreams often don’t have complete storylines, but still, building one up from a few scenes or people in a dream can be a fun activity.

6. A dream journal can be more fun than a traditional journal.

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If you struggle with typical journaling, a dream diary can be a little more exciting in comparison. There are certainly benefits to writing down your daily feelings and experiences, but if you’re like me, you’ll write for a day or two then stop. Sometimes, you don’t want to ruminate your day.

That’s why dream journaling is something special, particularly for creative writers.

7. It’ll help you remember more of your dreams.

Dream recall can be tough. As we get older, our dreams tend to include more of the mundane things. Instead of dreaming of being chased by a lion, we dream of being caught in traffic or something awful happening at work. It’s hard to have really good dreams.

However, if we take the time to document our dreams, you’re going to get into the routine of making your first waking though an attempt to recall your dream. As you keep doing that, it gets easier to start remembering your dreams.

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If some of the recurring themes you identify are negative, just cover those ones in fewer details. All in all, taking the time to interpret your dreams and write them down can be insightful.

Whether you’re struggling to set goals as a creative writer or if you need help beating writer’s block, keeping a dream journal will get you writing. Those ideas can grow and flourish into bigger projects.

Taking part in this activity can get you writing in the morning. You’ve just got to build in the time before you start your day. Writing down your dreams segues smoothly into working on any creative writing project; whether that’s poetry, short stories, or working on your novel.

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