I think we all have this problem, with a lot of things in our life. When I was younger I could remember anything and everything someone told me. No task was too large to fit inside my brain. No post-its or to-do lists needed, I got it covered. Nowadays that is not the case. I could blame it on getting older, and while that it probably a part of it, I also have a ka-jillion more things on my mind these days then I did when I was in my early twenties. And you can only juggle so much before you start to drop things.
Between the hours of 1 a.m. and 4 a.m., when I occasionally awaken in a semi-dream state, my body thinks that my brain will be able to remember any awesome idea that pops into my head just like I did in my twenties. No need to get up and write that brilliance down, it is so obvious that of course I will remember.
And I never do. I am guessing you don’t either.
When you wake up in the middle of the night and your brain has just sent a jolt of adrenaline through your body in an attempt to push you into action, sometimes you need to listen.
I have tried the idea of having a notebook next to my bed to write down these ideas and that has not worked. When I completely wake up in the morning I look at what I have written and it seems to be in code. Key words that were supposed to somehow jog my memory of the fully formed idea, and they don’t.
Recently I have just taken to getting all the way up, walking into my office and writing down the entire idea. It seems to have worked to a certain extent. I am getting more out of those midnight epiphanies than I used to.
This morning I woke up at 4 a.m. and after a particularly disturbing dream inspired by Amanda Palmer’s take on the song Polly by Nirvana. If you haven’t seen her video for it you should really check it out.
I had an abduction and torture dream. I don’t even know if it was me that was being abducted. I didn’t feel that icked out, but the sequence that revealed itself to me was definitely jarring. That’s when I made the connection to my WIP. There was one scene where she is abducted and I felt it was weak. She barely reacts to being abducted and then gets away all too easily; the whole thing did not have much effect on my MC. It wasn’t realistic. This dream told me everything I needed to know about why that scene didn’t work and what I needed to do to make it better.
So, thank you Amanda Palmer for planting a seed somewhere in my brain that caused this idea to spring forth.
Do you ever get ideas for stories in your dreams?