Lucid dreaming for creative writing: Interviews with 26 writers
Many creatives throughout history used their dreams (e.g. Stephen King, William Blake, Paul McCartney, Salvador Dali) to inspire their works of art. It is hypothesised that becoming lucid in those dream states can further enhance and direct creative works, and in particular, short-form fiction writing. Lucid dreams (LD) are those in which the dreamer becomes aware that they are dreaming (La Berge & Rheingold, 1990). A previous report on the use of dreams by 26 writers was analysed, after which 26 different writers were interviewed in order to identify the specific benefit of lucid dreams over non-lucid dreams for the development of literary works. Results from this study indicate that inducing LD can benefit creative writing processes by providing a starting point for a new literary piece and by helping with a current project, from problem-solving to idea generation, plot and character development, offering first-hand experience in one’s own fiction, helping with the reviewing process, as well as resolving ambivalence around creative projects or one’s writing practice. The objective of the future experimental study will be to test LD as a tool that can assist with different components of fiction writing. Suggestions are made here for how these components are placed in Flower and Hayes’ (1980) Cognitive Process Theory of Writing.