Dreaming Into Writing

By Tamiko Beyer

Categories: Alum Experiences, Writing Tips,

Editor’s note: The following post is being republished from Hedgebrook Writes!

Hello dear writers, fellow Hedgebrook women, and dreamers. And so it begins!

I’m thinking today about what comes before writing, about what must come before writing. The dreaming, the meditating, the napping, as Minal writes in her post.

I’ve just come back from a few days in Cape Cod. It’s become a tradition for my partner and I to head to that sandy, windy landscape in the spring. Our generous friends let us stay in their guest house before the summer season starts and the paying renters come.

There’s a kind of quiet that permeates the land and the small coastal towns when we go. The deep freeze of winter is over, the sun is out and shining, but the wind still blows cold and the tourists haven’t yet arrived en masse. It feels as if we – the land and the animals and the people – are stirring in half-dreams, half-waking.

 

 

 

 

 

This year, we went later than usual, just a few days before Memorial Day weekend. We noticed an energy, a charge, we hadn’t experienced before. People were painting storefronts, road crews were planting flowers, there was more traffic, and our favorite restaurant was hopping on a Monday night. We even saw many more animals than usual, including a gorgeous fox that glided across the driveway as we came home from dinner.

I felt an incipience in the air, something I recognized as kin to when I am on the verge of writing, but before the words have come. I feel it when I’ve spent time noticing and absorbing the world around me, when I’ve been reading a lot of poetry, when I’ve been quiet in myself and let myself daydream on the subway or at my desk.

Then, words and phrases begin to coalesce at the edges of my brain. I hear sounds that might become a line; I see shapes that may become poems. Then, I know the act of writing will be a little bit easier.

When I went to Hedgebrook, I knew my process well enough that I gave myself a week of just reading a lot, taking walks to the lavender fieldsgazing at Mt. Rainier (if I was lucky!), and picking blackberries, with no pressure to write. Of course, I did write a little during the first week, and then more, and then more, until by the end of the month I had gotten a good revised draft of the manuscript that I had brought to work on.

It wasn’t easy, of course, but I think it was easier because I gave myself permission that first week to dream and be and stay quiet.

As you embark on this 3-day writing intensive, what are you doing to dream yourself into writing?

 

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