I’ll See You in My Dreams

Artists of all kinds, writers included, are sensitive souls. When we create our masterpieces, we reach deep inside ourselves to add part of us to the projects on which we work.  Then when we publicize our work, we brace ourselves as we know that the critics will crawl out of the woodwork, waiting to chew up and spit out our babies.

But when I say that writers are sensitive, I don’t mean to imply that we’re thin-skinned and easily get hurt feelings.  As a matter of fact, if that were the case, we’d be on a suicide mission every time we submitted anything for publication.  What I mean is that I believe we’re better in touch with our own feelings as well as the feelings of those around us.  (I particularly find it funny that I’m so extraordinarily empathetic, because I have Asperger’s Syndrome.  In case you don’t know, lack of empathy is generally one of the major symptoms associated with this form of Autism.)  

In yesterday’s post, I told you about several authors who had successfully predicted future inventions or events within their books.  And that got me to wondering how many of those writers may have dreamed their ideas for those novels.  Or how many of you who write, dream your next idea?  Personally, about half of the manuscripts that I’ve written have either come to me in a dream or all at once in a kind of a “vision” (and I hesitate to use that word because of the quirky taboo associated with it) the moment I woke up. 

I’ve had other dreams over the years that I felt at the time would probably make for a good book or movie, but oddly, they weren’t in a genre that I cared to write or see.  But over the years, I’ve come to find that other people don’t necessarily have dreams like that.

dreams

My sister, for example, almost always dreams of wonderful fantasy lives featuring herself.  For example, she dreams that she’s walking along, minding her business, when she looks down and finds a winning lottery ticket.  Or she’s home doing nothing, when suddenly, a handsome movie star knocks on the door to get directions because he’s lost, then he sees her, instantly falls in love, and asks her to marry him.  And sometimes when she’s mad at someone, she dreams that she has superhuman powers and beats them to a pulp until they beg her for mercy, then they apologize profusely for being so mean in the first place.  (And if you knew her, you’d know how ridiculous that one is.)  At any rate, she’s always the star and always comes out on top.

As for me, I’m almost never in my own dreams. Quite often, actually, they’re entirely about complete strangers.  I’ve also had numerous dreams in my life of things that came true, though sometimes they’re a bit skewed.  I’m not claiming to be any kind of psychic or anything like that.  I just think I’m extra sensitive to certain things going on around me.  When I have these dreams, they’re never because I am thinking about the subject beforehand.  They just happen, then I find out later how accurate they actually were. 

For example, for the purpose of this post, my ex-husband’s name is “Bob.”  (That’s not really his name, but I don’t want to infringe on his privacy by revealing his true identity.)  When we were separated, I had a dream that he was in a phone booth outside a McDonald’s and was with two other people when he was killed in a drive by shooting.  I woke up so frazzled, that before I even got out of bed, I called Bob and told him my dream.  But he got angry that I was pulling a stupid joke on him while he was at work.  I told him I didn’t know what he was talking about. I was still shaking from how realistic my dream was, and I was quite upset.  Then he told me to turn on the news.  Apparently, there were three African-American men, one who was named Bob, inside a phone booth outside of a McDonald’s the night before, and in a drive-by shooting, that Bob was shot and killed.

When I was a teenager, I worked at a convenience store, and I knew a lot of my customers by name (because I had to card them for purchases of tobacco or alcohol).  I had a dream one night of a customer named Brad who always drove a blue Mustang.  In my dream, he was with a tall, blonde girl named Suzanna, but he called her Sue.  They were in a brand new red Celica, and they were headed to a small town in Tennessee named Crab Orchard to see her family.  They stopped at a grocery store along the way, where they were involved in a car accident as they were leaving the parking lot.  The next day, Brad came into my store when he got off work, and I told him my dream.  He looked at me kind of oddly, but didn’t really say anything more.  I didn’t think anything more about it until the day after that when a red Celica pulled into the parking lot, and a tall blonde girl got out.  She came in and stood in the store, not looking at anything to buy as she waited for the other customers to leave.  Then she introduced herself.  She said her name was Suzanna, but people called her Sue, and that her boyfriend Brad told her about a dream I had about them!  She said she just got her new car the week before, and she and Brad were planning a trip that very weekend to her hometown of Crab Orchard, Tennessee to see her dad.  But because of my dream, she changed her plans. 

So, hopefully I didn’t make you think that I’m a complete oddball.  (I usually get one of two reactions when I share my dreams such as these:  Either, “Wow, that’s so cool!” or, “Um,  okay… Well, that’s sure weird!”)   If you found any of this interesting, I have dozens of similar prophetic dreams I can share.  But now, I want to know… What do you dream?

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38 thoughts on “I’ll See You in My Dreams

  1. Interesting post.

    My dreams run somewhere between yours and your sister’s actually. And they’re mostly boring as well. But the interesting thing is, that I do the reading for almost all my writing and then for somewhere between a nap and several days, it stews. And then I sit down and write, anywhere from a short post to a multi-part series, almost without stopping (obviously, I do some clean up and quote checking and such). That is how my best (in my and others opinion) writing comes about.

    It just seems like my unconscious does all the organizing and pulling together what I want to say. Is this unusual? I have no idea, I know a few others that do this, more or less, and some that don’t do it at all. We’ll see what your readers say.

  2. Great post! My best friend who I met through film school has Aspergers syndrome as well. As writers we have to learn how to write what you want to see and read. I got that from Bill Taub who wrote the book Automatic Pilot. I’m sensitive about my work too!

  3. I will use the term fascinating. I have had dreams that later became real, not very often and there a thunderbolt moment of dejavu that comes with it. As I was reading it, I kept thinking about The Dead Zone a bit different yet similar. Thanks for posting this.

    • LOL! Thank you. I read somewhere that Stephen King witnessed his friend be hit and killed by a train when he was a kid, yet he doesn’t remember it at all. I love when the deja vu dreams happen….MOST of the time! 😀

  4. My dreams are mostly nightmares where I work out the frustrations of my day but I do, also, have sort of precognitive dreams. They aren’t quite the same of yours, they’re about me doing mundane things a few months from whenever and the prescient bit is just the accepted truths in my head as I do these things. That someone has died, that I have a new car etc. Occasionally I’ll dream about something else say, an injury. I’ll know the person is going to get hurt, I’ll know how and what the place they get hurt in looks like but I won’t know anything useful like what the place they’re going to be hurt in is called or when. Since they were of no practicable use I learned to bury these dreams but every now and again, the odd one pops up. I also find that I often have dreams about dying before big changes in my life.

    There at least now if anyone reading this thinks you’re cuckoo you won’t be on your own. They’ll think I am too.

    Cheers

    MTM

    • That’s so cool! I’ve learned to tell someone (anyone) whenever I have one of my “special dreams” so that I at least have a witness when it comes true. 😉 I think I’ve had enough friends witness my “gift” often enough, though, that whenever I dream about them, they don’t hesitate to change their plans, “just in case.” 🙂

      • I was definitely given an option to accept my gift, to remember the dreams, and chose not to. Now I find my spidey senses have found other ways of working which are a bit more useful.

        Cheers

        MTM

      • That’s cool. Unfortunately, I do not have the option to forget, so there’s often a lot of bad stuff swirling around in my head. But I have definitely learned to follow my gut instinct and once I learned that, it’s never let me down.

  5. Wow! What a gift you have, Rachel!

    I do get many ideas from the incredibly vivid dreams I have, but I don’t think I’ve ever had any prophetic dreams. My best ideas for my work come 33.3% from my dreams, 33.3% in the shower or the car, and 33.3% anywhere else. For some reason, showering and driving always bring out some of my best dialogue or exposition. It also produces the best ideas. I don’t know why.

    I think that writers are extra sensitive to the world around them because they always see more than the average non-writer. There is a story in everything and we’re attuned to the creative/magical in the world and the potential of everything they see. I think this can create vivid dreams for us.

    Great post! Loved it!

    • Thank you! 😀 I also have my AHA! moments in the car or the shower…and my thinking behind WHY that is, is that those are the two places I don’t have a pen and paper to write them down! 😉

  6. This is completely random, but I was looking for a yellow Sharpie the other day, and I couldn’t find one (because we don’t have one) and that night I dreamed that I opened up my desk drawer and it was full of yellow Sharpies.

  7. Dreams are fascinating, aren’t they? The fact that you accurately predicted so many details in your dream is a little eerie. I just have one request. Let me know if you have a dream about me, okay?

  8. Pingback: I’ll See You in My Dreams | michellechestnut

  9. I had the inspiration to write Irish Firebrands immediately upon awakening. It was nothing that I had dreamed; I never dreamed anything that I wrote in my books. It was just a vivid impression of a couple in conversation, and a bit of the dialogue. I jotted it down…and the rest is history….

  10. I’ve been keeping dream journals for years, so though entire novels don’t come to me that way, I often comb through them for character and scene ideas. Some ate very vivid!

  11. Funny… I have those dreams sometimes too! 0_0 Then, too, I don’t often dream about myself. I dream from the point of view of someone else, mostly.
    It’s kind of ironic, actually. Sometimes, when I’m writing, I get this odd feeling that in the world I’m writing, I don’t even really exist. The story is telling itself and I’m not even there. Or even, this world has been around forever and it’s not me telling the story at all. Makes me feel a little insubstantial at times.

    • I do know what you mean about the story writing itself sometimes. 🙂 It’s sometimes very odd having those dreams from the viewpoint of a stranger. I find it frustrating quite often. 🙂

      • I don’t, for some reason. But then, I have more of a tendency to lose myself in my stories, and to identify with certain characters so much that I can actually act exactly like them for hours. (I tend to like roleplaying as boys, though, which is a bit weird. Hey, at least it got me started with male protagonists… :-P)

  12. Wow I feel like you just wrote a synopsis of the dream occurrences in my life. I have similar stories. My brother tells me that my dreams should come with opening and closing credits. Great post.

    Maribeth

  13. I woke up at 3:00 am the Thursday before September 11th hysterical because of a dream about a skyscraper collapsing. It upset me so that I called my husband, who was in China at the time, to get some comfort. Then I felt regret four days later when I wished I could have done something with that dream.

    Dreams are amazing, crazy, intuitive things. I also get a lot of my story ideas from them as well (in fact, I just wrote a blog entry about my current WIP that is based on a dream).

    Usually though, they just are trying to tell me to wake up an go to the bathroom. HA!

    Great Post.

    Leanne Ross ( readfaced.wordpress.com & LeanneRossRF )

    • Wow, I got goosebumps when I read your comment! I had a dream of the subway in London being bombed and flooding a couple of days before there was a terrorist attack in The Tube. And my son dreamed of a space shuttle crashing the day Columbia went into space in 2003. He was in third grade and said as the shuttle went up, “That’s too bad it’s not going to make it back to earth.” Thanks for sharing your story! 😀

  14. Great post! Most of the stuff I write–the stories that people say really touch them–are ones I took from my dreams and made a little less crazy and more interesting.

  15. Very interesting (and honest!) post…I tend to dream in full color/sound/smell, so when it’s a good dream it’s great, when it’s a nightmare, it’s like living in a horror movie starring the ones you love.
    I’ve gotten A LOT of my story ideas from dreams, that’s one positive to having such a vivid dreaming imagination!
    Re: premonitions in dreams…I’ve had them happen several times, usually over something minor but bad (e.g. breaking my eyeglasses, etc.).
    -Kate

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