Dreams by Night and Day

Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.

—Edgar Allan Poe

I’ve heard it said that daydreaming is the brain’s default state because real thinking burns energy and can be exhausting. Some people believe that daydreaming is a waste of time, but to me (and to many other writers and artists), daydreaming is like leaving your mind open for new ideas. (And that reminds me of a quote from the movie Bridge to Terabithia: “Keep your eyes closed and your mind wide open.”)

I think that’s part of the reason why a lot of people tend to remember things they’ve forgotten during the day right before they fall asleep at night. The brain is winding down and becoming more relaxed, and there is a greater flow of thoughts and images and memories and weird pieces of dreams. Then all of a sudden, you’re jolted awake by the realization that you completely forgot to send that email at work or you didn’t take the chicken out of the freezer to defrost. Or, in those pre-sleep daydreaming states, you can come up with great story ideas. The only problem is that they don’t come with as forceful a jolt as real-life matters, and they fade away much more quickly.

So the trick is to simulate that open-minded dreaming state during the day in order to be more inspired and more aware. Meditation, prayer, yoga… all of those and more can help you to relax and ease your brain into its default mode and perhaps even a deeper creative state.

6 thoughts on “Dreams by Night and Day

  1. I think the “deeper creative state” also allows people to get away from the various rule books of how you’re supposed to create particular types of art (or, really, anything). You can find other paths, other structures, but you have to loosen the reins for a while to get there.

    “Keep your eyes closed and your mind wide open.”

    I have to report that my first thought about this was to remember a song (by a band called Magazine–I had to Google that part) which had the line “My mind’s not so open that just anything can crawl in there.” 🙂

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  2. I really needed this reminder today, thanks! It’s so critical to daydream and even just have down time to collect thoughts. It’s important for writers and artists…and the kids too! This is such as great post…would you mind if I reblog it?

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  3. Reblogged this on taraisarockstar's blog and commented:
    Maggie Madly Writing posts on her blog, every week, for as long as I can remember. She is an inspiration to all writers and editors. If you get a chance, please check out her blog. This is one of many posts that stood out for me. Please enjoy. Thanks Maggie!

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