I’ve written before about how our subconscious minds play a critical role in our creative process. That breakthrough insight you received recently in the shower? That was your subconscious, taking advantage of the fact that you were free from distraction (including our everpresent smartphones).
For the past quarter-century or so, I’ve proactively asked my subconscious to work out knotty problems I’m having with my creative writing, and it almost always delivers. (I’ve written recommended steps you can take to do the same.)
This morning I had a unique experience with my subconscious. For longer than I can remember, if I know I plan to do some creative writing when I wake up in the morning, my ever-thoughtful subconscious wakes me up, exactly one minute before my alarm. If the alarm is set for 6 a.m. (as it was today) I’m awakened at 5:59 am. If I set it for 5:30? You guessed it, 5:29. My wife loves it because I can then turn the alarm off before it wakes her up, and I appreciate the kick in the pants to get up and go to work.
So… I was dreaming last night. I rarely remember my dreams, and I think now I know why. The one I was in was phenomenally banal, so I won’t bore you with the details. Suffice it to say I was standing on a street corner, waiting for someone. I saw him pulling up to the curb. Suddenly, to my surprise, I raised my hand to him, called out “Sorry, I’ve got to go!” and then flew up into the sky, Superman-style. The next moment I was awake in bed. I put on my glasses, looked over at my alarm clock, and saw it was 5:59 am.
It turns out that even if I am in REM sleep, my subconscious is determined to make sure I get to work.
The action by my subconscious paid off. I spent about an hour working on my WIP–an urban speculative novel with the working title THE UNMOVING STARS–and officially reached the halfway point of the 2nd draft.
Oh, and I wrote the first draft of this blog post in my head while showering.