I woke up about forty-five times the other night - okay, more like five or six times - and each and every time I woke up, I wished I could return to the dream that was interrupted by the wakefulness. I've had dreams before where I was eating or shopping or skiing down a mountain, dreams that I'd love to dream forever, only I'd wake up during the best parts, never to return again. No matter how hard I tried, how much I begged my brain to get back to that place of pure joy, it's never worked.
Until the other night.
Each time I woke, I hoped, fell back to sleep, and returned to the exact place the dream had left off, multiple times over, until the last time I awoke, bright and early in the morning, the dream - the story - was finished. Beginning to end. Like a movie. Or a novel.
I wrote the story down the next day, just in case it was a good one, as all story ideas are great when you're half asleep. Ninety-nine percent of them turn out to be outrageous, hideous, hilarious bad ideas. And you trash them. No biggie. It was just a dream.
However, well, this idea? It's good. Real good. And funny. I just can't believe my subconscious came up with it, totally without my help. And that's what's bothering me...
Who's story idea is this anyway?
It's not mine, is it? I mean, I wasn't actively thinking of which actions, which characters would do. I wasn't the one who came up with the story line. The location. The lessons learned. Hidden messages.
I was just a spectator. Watching the dream unfold, like a movie goer. Only thing I lacked was the fresh popped popcorn. Organic popcorn, of course. No GMO's for me, thank you very much...
But I didn't come up with this idea. I didn't. I wrote it down, yes. But I didn't come up with any of it. I did add a few things here and there to make sense of bits and pieces, so to that I can lay claim. And getting it down on paper. Well, yes. I did that. Wow, I can write words. Go me...
Yet the actual story line. The characters. The dialouge. The setting, plot, description. Everything else... It just happened, came to me for my viewing pleasure, in a dream.
Knowing this, is it safe to say, then, that this was team work? A joint effort between me and my most beloved writer buddies of all time - my subconscious? Then why do I feel as though I found this idea in someone else's closet? I don't even feel a connection with the person - thing - that came up with it all.
I don't feel like it was me...
Yet it was.
Nothing you can touch, but all that you feel.
That which makes you you.
All of this. This is your Subconscious. It is You.
In Waiting for Paint to Dry, I had no conscious idea that I had, while writing the first draft, interjecting multiple plot lines and themes that carried through the entire story, through different characters, all to come out in the end with a dramatic conclusion. That wasn't me doing it on purpose. Again, it just happened. It was my subconscious that made it all happen.
So I make peace with the notion that I'm not totally the one in control here. That I'm not the only one putting the pieces so creatively together - even though, yes, my subconscious is me and I am my subconscious...so confusing...
The thing is, there's no way any of us could ever consciously do what our subconscious does without even lifting a finger. Like it or not - no matter that you're wide awake, spending hours upon hours honing your craft, working your magic, fingers sore, butt tired - it's your subconscious doing most the work. All the work even. So who is it that gets the credit in the end? Even though you and it are one in the same, although at times it feels as though it's outside of you and not you, but you still???
Sign your name with care, folks.