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Write Down Your Waking Thoughts and Dreams For Writing Ideas

Updated on October 18, 2016

Do you Save your Waking Thoughts?

Do you Write Down Your Waking Thoughts in a Notebook?

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Can Your Dreams Inspire Your Written Work?

Keep a notebook and pen beside your bed and as soon as you wake up note down anything from any dreams you remember and also your waking thoughts. Those thoughts can give great writing ideas and prompts when looked at later in the day.

It might not be the first thing that comes to your mind when the alarm rudely pulls you from your dreams.The practice of noting down dreams and waking thoughts is a method which has worked really well for authors over the years and may just work for you as well.

The idea behind writing those waking thoughts down is that as you have just woken up your mind is still closer to it's unconscious state and hasn't moved in automatic mode as it goes about it's usual daily routine.

Keep a Writer's Notebook Beside Your Bed

Wake up and save your thoughts for later in the day.
Wake up and save your thoughts for later in the day. | Source

Writing Down Your Ideas

Keep a notebook and pen right beside your bed. Set your alarm ten minutes early and use that time just to spill everything from your mind onto the paper. Don't worry about spelling, grammer or punctuation, and remember that no-one else will see your notebook.

Mostly importantly don't even try to rationalise what you have written. Write what you remember from your dreams and also any ideas or random thoughts that come to you. No matter how uninspired or unconnected it seems, still note it down.

Are your Morning Pages creative?

Can you write in the mornings?

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Make Morning Writing a Habit

There is wide debate about the length of time it takes for a new behaviour to become a habit. When we start to act in a certain way at a certain time and repeat that behaviour our clever little brains start to remember that behaviour, and eventually it becomes associated into the correct part of day. For example when you wake up, have a shower and then have a coffee that becomes a habit.

So if we start to habitually write our thoughts down on waking then it will enter the routine and then the brain will change the pathway between the cells and then our habits will change. Then we will wake up, write down, have a shower and then that sacred coffee. There is no right answer as to exactly how long it will take for it to become natural and just another part of your morning routine.

So in no time at all you won't even have to consciously think about your morning writing, it will just be what you do.

Your Dreams can be Powerful Writing Prompts

What emotions and thoughts does you dream evoke when you write it down?
What emotions and thoughts does you dream evoke when you write it down? | Source

Go Back and Make a Story or Article Out of Your Notes

Later in the day when you have some free time and the haze of early morning has left you, go back to your notebook and look at what you have written.

One thing to bear in mind is that when you go back and read that early morning writing it wont be the slick, polished standard you are used to. It may appear very random and seem quite scattered. Don't be put off by that childlike scribble. It is possible on later examination there could be a literary gem just waiting to be unearthed. Remember as well that the presentation will be rough. It is very unlikely to be the neat and polished work you are used to, and a legible scrawl is perhaps as good as it is going to get.

Look through your writing and pull out any interesting words or names. Where were you? How did you feel? What characters were in your dreams? Were they good or bad? Write down all the answers and you will see a plot idea start to form.

Write Down Your Waking Thoughts and Use Them for Writing Prompts

Even if you aren't a morning person. Your subconscious mind will still be alert and inspired.
Even if you aren't a morning person. Your subconscious mind will still be alert and inspired. | Source

Other Advantages of Noting Down Dreams and Ideas

Even if you don't unearth a best seller there are still benefits to this exercise. It will improve your writing and may even improve your memory. When you look back over the notes from the morning they may just be one sentence or idea that when focused on and developed later could expand into something wonderful.

Another benefit is not as obvious. When you are noting down your dreams on a daily basis it will highlight any reoccuring ones and by focusing your attention on them it will perhaps convey their meaning to you. The unconscious mind will keep talking to us until we listen and change or resolve what it is trying to present to us.

As with most things the more practice you get, then the more accomplished you should become at remembering and pinpointing those morning thoughts. Without a doubt anything which takes us closer to our creative unconscious mind, can only be a good thing.

If all else fails and morning writing isn't for you at least the process of trying it may rudely awaken you to the day and leave you in a creative frame of mine and raring to go.

Wake up to Creativity


Finding Your Writing Muse


My Morning in Poetry

Morning pages! Morning Pages!

It’s just outrageous!

My head is light, my eyes half shut.

My senses gone out for a walk

With dragons breath and weary bones

My hair hangs loose, like a crone's

Barely awake and hardly in the know

My eyes half shut, my senses slow

How can it be that my work could be good?

When I am in limbo, semi conscious, deadwood!

But then one day I found the way,

To grab my thoughts and make them stay.

I put a book beside my bed,

To trap those thoughts inside my head.

Now I wake and write them down,

Before they slip out from my crown.

Ever hopeful that one day,

A best selling book will come my way.

Start the Day with Inspiration


© 2013 Anna Haven


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    • Anna Haven profile imageAUTHOR

      Anna Haven 

      6 years ago from Scotland

      Hi LKMore01

      Sorry for the delay, I just noticed your comment.

      Thank you for reading and commenting. I am exactly the same as you - a night owl who also has to do early mornings.........

      I don't properly wake up till about 10am even though I have been up for hours!

    • LKMore01 profile image


      7 years ago


      Voted this Up. Since I'm a night owl who has to get up early I couldn't live without the bedside journal. Thank you for sharing this.

    • Anna Haven profile imageAUTHOR

      Anna Haven 

      7 years ago from Scotland

      Thank you Eddy for reading and also for your positive comment. I am enjoying Hubpages and everyone has been very welcoming. Hope you have a great weekend too :) Anna

    • Eiddwen profile image


      7 years ago from Wales

      A brilliant hub here and thank you for sharing.

      I now look forward to many more by you.

      Enjoy your weekend.


    • Anna Haven profile imageAUTHOR

      Anna Haven 

      7 years ago from Scotland

      Stewart certainly hails to good old Scotland. Stirling is a beautiful town especially the castle :)

    • epigramman profile image


      7 years ago

      Scotland? Wow we have a connection. My full name is Colin Scott Stewart.

      You can't get more Jewish than that. And my dear mum and dad who are now departed and in somewhere in the Highland Heavens were both born in Stirling.

      What a small world,

      Just woke up after night shift sleep and having my first cup of coffee

      with haggis and black pudding.

      And scones for tea.

      Sending you warm wishes from lake erie time ontario canada 12:12pm

    • Anna Haven profile imageAUTHOR

      Anna Haven 

      7 years ago from Scotland

      If you could think of a way to capture those shower thoughts I think you would be onto a universal winner, as it seems to be quite a popular time for inspired thought. Thankyou for taking the time to read my article and for commenting.

    • Anna Haven profile imageAUTHOR

      Anna Haven 

      7 years ago from Scotland

      Hi Colin, thankyou for reading and commenting. Your poetry is so skillfully written that I am not surprised to hear that you see continual inspiration in your everyday life.

      Good wishes back from Scotland.

      Your cats have very cool names!

    • Cyndi10 profile image

      Cynthia B Turner 

      7 years ago from Georgia

      Cute poem at the end of the article. I occasionally write down my first thoughts. What I find is that those thoughts become much more elusive just with the action of writing them down. My best place for inspiration is the shower. If I could take my laptop or ipad in there, I could produce, produce, produce! The bad part of shower inspiration is that I have not developed the best way to capture those thoughts.

      Good article.

    • epigramman profile image


      7 years ago

      Well Miss Anna so nice to hook up with you once again and I am just home from work at lake erie time ontario canada 5:20am.

      I always love hubs about the mystique and allure of writing and what fires up our imagination and how we become inspired.

      As you can probably imagine with the epi-man he is fired up 24/7 - lol - I write at work (when they're not looking) and write in the car (with both hands on the wheel and in the mind - I have a 2 hour commute) and I write on my walk around the bay of my lake (which is silent as only nature can be and I call it - my writer's walk) and always with pen and paper to start before eventual posting online.

      Sending you warm wishes and good energy from Colin and his cats, Little Miss Tiffy and Mister Gabriel

    • Anna Haven profile imageAUTHOR

      Anna Haven 

      7 years ago from Scotland

      Thankyou Billybuc. It seems that on waking there are definitely a lot of inspiring thoughts and fresh ideas coming to people. Maybe those tales my granny used to tell me about getting a good nights sleep were all true :)

      Thankyou for taking the time to read my hub and for your positive comment.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      7 years ago from Olympia, WA

      My most productive hours are from 7-10 a.m. I always wake up with ideas for writing, and usually right after my shower they are clear to me and I write them down. Good job on this one and I completely agree.

    • Anna Haven profile imageAUTHOR

      Anna Haven 

      7 years ago from Scotland

      Thankyou for reading and commenting CrisSp. I have a large collection of pretty hardback notebooks and I always have one to hand, I am glad you could relate to the article. I will look at your dreaming and waking hub. Thankyou :) Anna

    • CrisSp profile image


      7 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      This hub particularly the poem seems to be a reflection of me. Oh, so true for most of us writers/artists....I always have a notebook and pens (plural, in case one runs out) in my bedside drawer because I'll never know when my soul would speak up and run some random thoughts. I just need to be ready at all times.

      You may want to see one of my hubs: "Hubpages-dreaming and awakening" (no plugging intended), where I have captured a dream past midnight and immediately have to jot it down at least before I forget it.

      Good thoughts, good hub. Thanks.

    • Anna Haven profile imageAUTHOR

      Anna Haven 

      7 years ago from Scotland

      Hi DJ Anderson, now that does take real talent! The big question is how did you then transfer it to paper ;) Interesting that you are at your most productive in the afternoon, that's my worst time of the day, when I am reaching for the coffee and yawning. Thankyou for commenting and also for sharing a little bit of the perils of the modern day writer, I think there is an article in there just waiting to be written....

    • profile image

      DJ Anderson 

      7 years ago

      My first husband had clocks set to different times. Like BraveWarrior, he would set the alarm 45 minutes early and then push snooze. That meant that I was awaken 45 min. earlier than I needed to wake up; and every 5 minutes thereafter. It drove me crazy!

      I have never been a morning person. But, I am not a night owl, either.

      My best time is probably around 2:00 PM to 2:15 PM. My creative spark comes without notice.....usually when I am in the shower. LOL

      Have you ever tried to write a poem on the steamed glass shower doors? Now, that takes REAL talent!! :-)

    • Anna Haven profile imageAUTHOR

      Anna Haven 

      7 years ago from Scotland

      I like how you had the snooze intervals timed, absolutely, every second counts at 6.45am! Funnier how now that you could stay in bed longer, you don't! But that maybe because now you like your working day more :)

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      7 years ago from Central Florida

      It's funny you say that. When I worked outside the home, my bedroom clock was set 45 minutes later than real time, the alarm was set 45 minutes before I really had to get up, which allowed me to hit the snooze button 9 times before I had to get up and get ready for work!

      Now my clock is set at real time and if I don't want to get up when the alarm goes off, I don't have to! (but I do....) :-)

    • Anna Haven profile imageAUTHOR

      Anna Haven 

      7 years ago from Scotland

      That made me smile :) I love your list! I steal some minutes by setting my clock slightly earlier, after my brief blurry respite of creativity.... then I have a similar list to yourself minus the cats oh and the payment for writing! Alas, my wages come from talking and training not writing, one day tho.........

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      7 years ago from Central Florida

      Anna, I always have a notebook at the ready to jot down an idea that pops into my head, but first out of bed isn't it. My first thoughts are pee, brush teeth, feed cats, wake son, coffee. :-) Then it's on to read HubMail, shower, sit at my desk and begin my day of writing. If I don't write, I don't get paid!

    • Anna Haven profile imageAUTHOR

      Anna Haven 

      7 years ago from Scotland

      Very welcome, thankyou very much for reading and commenting. I am sure you will find some really interesting ideas turning up.

    • kristenaugusta profile image


      7 years ago

      Learning to establish some discipline for my creativity. I am a morning person, so maybe I should use that time to noodle my thoughts and dreams into stories and poems. Thanks for the inspiration.

    • Anna Haven profile imageAUTHOR

      Anna Haven 

      7 years ago from Scotland

      Thankyou Mary :) I would definitely forget too if I didn't write it down, I am probably a night person rather than a morning one!

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 

      7 years ago from Florida

      My body wakes up rearing to start the day, but my little brain is foggy for about an hour or so. I always think I'll remember what I dreamed about or ideas I have in my sleep, but of course, I never remember.

      Voted UP....

    • Anna Haven profile imageAUTHOR

      Anna Haven 

      7 years ago from Scotland

      Thankyou Joanne. I like to write down what's lurking in my head on waking. Most of it is really obscure, but sometimes there are some interesting little ideas sneaking to surface.

    • profile image

      Joanne M Olivieri 

      7 years ago

      First, love the poem.

      I have heard that keeping a notebook at your bedside is the thing to do. However, I have yet to do it and I should. I almost always wake up around 4 in the morning with ideas racing thru my head, then I fall back asleep, usually not remembering those ideas when I get up.


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