Having occasional bouts of insomnia, I have found the art of napping to be a true blessing. In this article we’ll explore how to use naps and a good night’s sleep as a writing and creativity enhancer.
ASK A GOOD QUESTION BEFORE YOU NOD OFF
Just before you close your eyes before bed or a nap, ask a question about a current project. You might ask “What’s bothering me about the character in chapter 4 of my novel?” Or, “Where am I stuck with the copy for my website?” You might be wondering, “What would be the best market for the article I want to write about my recent trip?”
You need not limit yourself to asking questions about your writing or creative life. You may have relationship or career choice questions. You may have questions about your spiritual life or larger questions about your life purpose. This technique will work in any area of your life.
Your brain is like a search engine, just waiting to begin scanning for an answer to your question.
Try to let go and trust that whatever information you do get is meant to be helpful or guide you in some way.
PAY ATTENTION TO THE LANGUAGE OF YOUR DREAMS
Once you ask the question, know that the creative process is already underway. But because it is a creative process, you don’t necessarily know the format in which your answer will come.
Information may come in the form of a dream. You may see yourself on a stage performing, with the words you were searching for coming in the lyrics of a song. Or, your dream may be more of a treasure hunt. Perhaps you see yourself walking along a path, picking up objects as clues to a new direction.
Your answer may be quite concrete and obvious or it may need some interpretation. Sometimes the answer to your question will be more subtle than you expect. For example, if I am stuck with writing copy for my website, I may get an image of tangled string or of something trapped in a maze. Perhaps I’ve become tangled in my words or trapped myself by making the project too complex.
The more open you are to the information you receive, whatever the format, the more useful it will be.
BE PREPARED FOR ANSWERS TO COME IN UNEXPECTED WAYS
While dreams and images are the most common ways to receive information from sleep writing questions, be prepared for answers to come at other times.
There may be times when you don’t remember a dream at all. Or, you may get no images at all upon awakening.
However, thoughts or ideas may come to you in the shower, later in the day or while out on a walk. It will seem as though the ideas came “out of the blue.”
Keep experimenting and notice what happens. Try both sleep writing before going to bed at night or prior to a catnap during the day.
SLEEP WRITING HAS A CUMULATIVE EFFECT
Quite simply, the more often you ask questions and write down the answers you receive, the more information you will get. If you use this technique on a regular basis you will find yourself getting increasingly better results.
Over time, sleep writing will give you a new perspective on issues that have challenged you. It will help you develop a sense of curiosity and wonder. Keep track of your questions and the answers you receive over time. You will be surprised at the profound impact sleep writing can have.
By the way, guess where I got the idea for this article? Following a nap, of course!
Take good care,
If you find you could use some help integrating your writing and creative projects this fall, schedule a GRATIS SAMPLE COACHING SESSION via phone or in person to find out if writing & creativity coaching is for you. Phone (800) 552-WRITE, that's (800) 552-9748 or write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.
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