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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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