“You are never given a dream without also being given the power to make it true.” Richard Bach
People often refer to aspirations as dreams, you could certainly interpret Richard Bach’s quote to mean that you can achieve whatever you set your mind to but given Bach’s story I think he meant it in a more literal sense.
Richard Bach is an American writer who is most famous for his novella titled Jonathan Livingston Seagull, published in 1970. Bach began work on this story in the 1960’s, he wrote two chapters before he ran out of inspiration and set it aside. Eight years later he had a dream that enabled him to complete it and when it was published it hit the top of the New York Times Best Seller List, where it remained for 38 weeks!
When I was researching for this blog I found a long list of people who had achieved amazing things—all them inspired from a dream. Surprisingly the list isn’t just compiled of authors and creative types but also scientists and inventors. It was amazing to see such a variety of concepts brought to life from the act of sleeping. Stephen King once said you should use dreams the way you use mirrors—to look at something you can’t see head-on. Dreams allow us to look at things in ways we hadn’t imagined before. Maybe that’s why they have such a great impact on the creative world.
Some of the most well known dream-stories include; Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson, Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, Misery by Stephen King and Twilight by Stephenie Meyer.
Although no one is exactly sure why we dream or how it works we do know it plays a vital part in our digestion of life. We all know that dreams can reflect current issues in our lives but sometimes they are also filled with random and terrifying ideas that we are afraid to believe are our own. In some cases it allows us to tackle issues we wouldn’t normally think about and it opens our mind to new ideas. Clearly dreams are a resource all writers should be tapping into.
Luckily for me I had a bit of a dream obsession in my teenage years, I kept a dream journal for a couple of years and it trained me to remember them when I first woke up. It has been a long time since I’ve written one down but I usually remember at least one dream per night without putting in any conscious effort. So far I haven’t had one that inspired a storyline for a book, and no matter how much time and energy I put into my writing I have never dreamt of the characters in my books either. But I believe the potential is there, one day any one of us could have a dream that changes our lives.
The great thing about being a writer is you can make any dream come true, to finish Bach’s quote, “You may have to work for it, however.”