Hi Nicole. I read your article to see if it corresponded with my experience, and it did. In 7th grade I started a dream journal or dream diary. My dreams were so interesting and my real life so boring that I could not imagine keeping a real diary. The first dream that I recorded I still remember a part of. It was about two weeks before I remembered and recorded the second. After that, I began writing every day, whatever dream fragment I could recall. It would be the first thing I did upon waking in the morning. (For privacy sake I used symbols in the margins to represent certain things that I would have been embarrassed to have others read if someone invaded that space. I was a teenage boy, after all.)
As time went on I could recall more and more, eventually up to five dream sequences or stories a day. After a while it seemed like that magician’s trick of pulling a string of scarves out of an empty hand. The more I recorded, I found that what I wrote was somehow attached by a filament to what preceded it. By the time I graduated high school I had what amounted to a full ream of paper (more than 500 pages) of dreams.
I “graduated” from the practice in college but occasionally had dreams significant enough that I did not forgot them. Some dreams were especially significant and though I didn’t record them I still remember them 50 years later.
I was an art major in college, and at least of a few of my paintings were efforts to capture a scene from a dream.
And yes, writing one’s dreams in the middle of the night is a good practice. I still have a pad of paper and pen next to where I sleep. I’ve learned how to write in the dark and always make sure it is a blank page before turning out the light.
Some of the dreams I placed on my first website in 1995. https://ennyman.com/dreams.html
Some of my short stories were inspired by dream scenes, or taken from dreams and the climactic scene of my YA novel The Red Scorpion was the description of a dream from 30 years earlier.
Thanks for the prompt. I guess you got me goin’ here.