I Just Dreamed It Up


When we talk about ideas, we sometimes hear the phrase, “I just dreamed it up.” I have heard this said, but I believed that even those who used the phrase most likely did not fully dream an idea. It may have “just come to them” popped into their heads out of nowhere, but did they really have a dream where something they had never considered before played out in a deep sleep? Maybe so… probably not. I do know that until recently I had not really had cause to say “I just dreamed it up.”

I actually was asleep. The idea did come in a dream. Action, in full color, took place in the background. Music played over top of the action. Over top of the music were the words… a poem. The words kept repeating, over and over. I woke up enough to realize what was happening and still the words hammered in my brain.
At this point, I should let you know that I am not a poet. I do not write poetry. I rarely ever read poetry. Even in a novel where the author has included a poem, I often will skip the poem, particularly if it is more than a few lines. That is why I was so amazed that a poem came to me and that it would not get out of my mind.

Two generations ago, back in my college days, I learned that when something like this happens, you make a note, a reminder, and then you can go back to sleep. I picked up my cell phone from the bedside table and recorded the first couple lines, rolled over thinking I would go back to sleep. I was wrong. Over and over, the poem repeated. I retrieved my phone and recorded a few more lines. Surely, my mind would let this serve as a reminder to remember the words come morning and satisfy whatever part of me still held on to this poem. Again, I was wrong.

It was cold in the bedroom. I grabbed my long flannel bathrobe, stuck my feet in my fleece lined bedroom shoes and trudged to the computer. There I wrote the poem in its entirety. With all the words “on paper”, I headed back to bed and immediately fell asleep.

No more poems have made their way into my dreams, but, now, I can truly say, “I just dreamed it up.”


Author of Extinction, Survival, Death in a Small Town and Shadow Knight: Dark Justice.


Filed under writing

3 responses to “I Just Dreamed It Up

  1. A friend of mine had a similar experience once and produced a wonderful poem. Meanwhile she and I work on our novels, waking too early to type while sleep intervenes.

  2. How interesting, H.V. I didn’t know this phenomenon was unusual. The treasure poem in my book came through a dream and some plot ideas, too. Not surprising to me since I pretty much lived and breathed the book while writing it.
    I’m curious about your poem. Are you going to share it?

  3. I am a naturally curious person. I wonder what your poem is about, since it came to you with such clarity and insistence. Many a time have I gone to sleep and dreamed snapshots of the book/song I am working on but still not of an entirely new idea.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.