Are You Afraid of Your Dreams?

                                                              Are You Afraid of Your Dreams?



            I think every kid who has ever tried to get sleep in a dark room all by himself has been afraid at one time or another. I mean really, how many of us growing up in the age of electricity either had a plug in night light or sleep with a light burning behind the closed door of a hall bathroom? I’d say most reading this blog will say yes.

            Equally as frightening as a child was the sleep that followed. In the subtle twilight between sleep and awake, in the place that the mind goes out to play each night, there were the dreams. The dreams could be the place where the ball game never ended or the first kiss with Mary from the bus took place or any of a number of pleasant things.

It could also be the place where shadows on the wall and the imagined scratches behind the closet door came to life in the form of hideous, child-eating monsters. Those monsters would lurk over the child, scaring the daylights out of him only to retreat when the screams started and the parents came running in. The monsters would disappear back onto the wall and into the closet, biding their time while the parents calmed the child down, assuring him that “it was only a dream.” Then, when the kid was calm, the parents were gone, and the lights were out once more, the unrelenting monsters came to life once more. Sleeping as a child could be a horrendous thing.

            I had nightmares like any other child, but somewhere along the way, I learned to stop fearing my nightmares, to stop cringing at the mere thought of them, and actually embrace them. Once I started to write (in the form of fiction stories) about my deepest, darkest fears, I suddenly found that I couldn’t live without my deepest darkest fears.  What better place to get acquainted with my deepest, darkest place than the one place where I cannot lie to myself – my dreams.

Dreams are the body’s natural release for the things our minds suppress every day in order to make life tolerable. They let go of the anger and anxiety we keep in check or reinforce the fear you feel. You might find yourself the hero, finally punching that smart-ass boss in the mouth. You could just as easily find yourself cowering in the corner, curled up like a puppy dog waiting to be kicked. Either way, if you happen to be a writer, it makes for good material.

            I don’t keep a notebook beside the bed so that I can jot down my every dream. I don’t feel the need to do this. The dreams that stand out in my mind long enough after waking for me to remember are the ones worthy of getting some pen time in my stories. The ones that didn’t stand out had nothing to offer me to begin with. Why bother to remember them?

            As a writer, I feel very lucky to have this natural outlet for ridding myself of burdensome personal issues. Through my stories and my characters, I can deliver the demons of my body and toss the weight of my fears to the wind.

            And, each night, if I am lucky, my dreams will tell me what is bothering me the most.

            Tell me of your dreams. Do they help you write? Are you indifferent to them?

I am still learning the line phase. If you copy and paste the link, it will work.

If anyone wishes a PDF version, email me at



About timkeen40

When I was seven, I opened one of those little Golden Books (Lassie) and started copying the words down on paper and it set my soul on fire. I have been writing ever since. I don't know where this is going but I invite you along on the journey.
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82 Responses to Are You Afraid of Your Dreams?

  1. nrhatch says:

    I don’t pay much attention to my dreams or the occasional nightmare. I figure they have a job to do and can do it without my supervision.

    On occasion, a dream stands out.

    Here is one dream that inspired me to hop out of bed in the middle of the night:

  2. nrhatch says:

    Linda is running a short story contest which might interest you . . . especially if you enjoy Science Fiction and Aliens. 🙂

    Here’s the link:

  3. brittany220 says:

    Cool post! I find what you said about dreams very interesting, and the subject of dreams fascinating. I think some of the dreams I’ve had probably could be turned into books/movies, and I wouldn’t be surprised if famous authors have used their dreams to make a story. Have you had any dreams that really stood out to you as interesting and worth remember that you want to share?

  4. Seth@ChaosHQ's says:

    I kind of believe that dreaming permits each and every one of us to quietly and safely go insane every night of our lives. I do find it ironic how when I am having a most excellent ‘good’ dream and I wake up, I can never go back to that same dream, no matter how hard I try. But, when I wake from a nightmare and finally drift back to sleep, I have absolutely no troubles going right back into that night terror… it’s like picking up where I left off. Uuugh!

    • Seth@ChaosHQ's says:

      Dreams can range from just about anything. They can be horrible, beautiful, unbelievable, magical and just unreal. In some ways, dreaming beats reality as unexpected and adventurous stories unfold with a lot of them having puzzling plots to solve. I just wish I could figure out the precise pre-bedtime snacks to evoke particular adventures. Never the less, I think that dreams are pretty much a compilation of crappolla that happens throughout the day. My dreams tend to be quite random, all over the place. If Iwas to start writing down those dreams that I could remember, not sure what section the book would fall under ‘Horror’, Non – Fiction, XXX Fantasy (oh yeah!).

  5. Kelly Hay says:

    I have had the same recurring “nightmare” for most of my adult life. It’s not your typical scary, monster-esque type dream … it’s a dream where I’m driving along and suddenly lose control of the car … nothing works ~ the steering wheel, the brakes, nothing ~ and yet the car continues to go faster and faster!! And then, even more unexpectedly, the car abruptly shifts into reverse and continues to speed along, completely out of my control!!

    I read in one of those dream interpretation books that such dreams mean that I’m in a harried rush to accomplish something particular in my life but yet I feel completely out of control and unable to do so. Makes sense … makes even more sense that this particular dream pops up whenever I am indeed on the precipice of some new adventure.

    • timkeen40 says:

      Thanks for the insight. Again, dreams are the place where you can not lie to yourself. Whatever this dreams means, it is recurring and, therefore, important to you.

      Thanks for the reply,

  6. This is a great post!
    I also use the dreams I remember for inspiration sometimes in my writing, however it’s hard to remember my dreams.
    I know they’re bad, they wake me up every single night at least once. Not nightmares, just bad dreams which leave me feeling uneasy, sad and make my mind start thinking of tons of other things to forget this feeling, with the unfortunate consequence of being unable to fall back asleep for the longest time…
    However, sometimes I do get to elaborate on them in a flash fiction or poem, and at those times they’re worth it 🙂

  7. l0ve0utl0ud says:

    I pay close attention to my dreams, because a lot of them tell me something about my subconscious. It is interesting to try and interpret your dreams, but we also have to be careful not too focus too much on them, as we can never be sure of what they really mean, and overinterpretation can sidetrack us in real life. However, I have to say that I have never used dreams as an inspiration for writing. Could be interesting to try 🙂

  8. Tammy McLeod says:

    Occasionally I still have the dream where I show up at class and realize that it’s an exam and I’ve failed to go the entire semester. I also have the naked dream from time to time but as I’ve gotten older, I’m trying to use my dreams more. I write them down when I can remember them. I also ask for a dream sometimes and I have received one.

  9. Ollin says:

    You know what freaks me out sometimes? When I have a dream that comes true. But then again, I like it when my dream comes true and it was a great dream. I had a dream that one of my best friends got married, and two months later, just last week, I found out she was actually engaged in real life. Isn’t that crazy?

    In those cases, I love my dreams!

  10. nursemyra says:

    I have a recurring dream about being torn apart by a pride of lions. No idea what it means but I’ve been having it every few months for years

  11. I used to sleep with the light on — not a nightlight, an actual overhead light — for years when I was younger. My aunt did not appreciate this when we had sleepovers at my grandparents’ house and we had to share a room.

  12. Val Erde says:

    I used to remember all my dreams, the good ones, the bad ones, the lucid ones, the nightmares, but then years ago was prescribed an anti-depressant that wiped out my ability to visualise imagery – which was a terrible thing for me (particularly as an artist!) as I used to use my dreams for self-therapy and to inspire writing and paintings. In the last year or so the ability to visualise is just beginning to come back a bit (after nearly 14 years of absence).

    But yes, as a child I had bad dreams and I needed light to help. My mum used to leave the room door ajar. These days I can rarely sleep if there is light!

  13. Artswebshow says:

    My dreams even now can get pretty horrific.

    Recently i had a dream about finding dismembered hands down the side of my childhood bed and i was trying to figure out where i could hide them so my dad wouldn’t see them.
    Also another one about a collegue trying to kill me, i end up pushing him into a burning room and closing the door on him, even so i see him burn
    I guess i suppress a lot of anxiety
    Some dreams are worth writing about, they are not all bad.
    Childhood dreams feel so much worse at the time and can be pretty terrifying. lol

    • timkeen40 says:

      I actually love it when my dreams become that graffic. It inspires my imagination. However, something inside of my head always seems to tell me that the dream is not real. I guess that is why they do not scare me.

      You may not have enjoyed it, but the dream of hiding the dismemebered hands from your parents is intriguing.

      Thanks for the reply.

  14. short poems says:

    Great post… I pay attention sometimes to my dreams 🙂

  15. Pat Cegan says:

    Good observation on dreams, Tim. I find them interesting and often full of symbols. Thanks for your visit to me, too. Hugs, pat

  16. tattytiara says:

    My dreams don’t help me write directly, which is kind of odd – I have multiple dreams a night. Vivid, detailed, with intricate and compelling (to me) plotlines. I remember them all, most in their entirety. When I try to write them out, though, I get so mired in trying to record every single detail. It’s like the magic of the movie fades and I’m stuck on the sound stage. I do love them, though, and I’m sure they influence my writing in many ways I’m just not focused on consciously.

  17. Bill says:

    Dreams are a big part of my reality. I pay close attention to the ones I remember. They often find their way into my writing.

    Without dreams we wouldn’t have an alternative universe that made itself present, would we.

  18. It’s funny, I rarely remember my dreams, so I have to make sense of world without much input from my subconscious. I am a big fan of short fiction myself, well done. All the best.

    • timkeen40 says:

      Thanks for coming by. I am glad you like the blog and the stories. Short fiction is all I write or now. Maybe novels, later, but right now, it is short fiction.


  19. musings says:

    Thank you very much for your visit, Tim. You really are a very creative, imaginative writer. It was fun reading this post. I never looked at my dreams as a stress outlet, but perhaps you’re right. I’ll keep that in mind next time I wake up my husband with a dream yell.

  20. Great blog. I dreamt more as a child and now only when I have the flu. I love dreaming and have never been scared of the dreams, but the dark yes. Thanks for stopping by my blog, reading and commenting.

  21. dreams are a fascinating way to see what your unconscious really feels. you don’t need to remember them if you feel them as you wake — to get the real truth of what you’re trying to tell yourself. don’t ignore that 😉

  22. souldipper says:

    Very important part of living…dreams are our mental house cleaning according to the Psych classes at University. Or psyche cleaning? What a great resource being able to make use of dream material.

    • timkeen40 says:

      I can not disagree with the mental house cleaning aspect. In a lot of ways, writing is the same thing for me. Although it does not happen with every story, I do get a chance to deal with personal issues through my characters and their situations in the stories I write. Perhaps that is why the two of them are so inexorably tied to one another.

      Thanks for the comment.


  23. Katie says:

    my dreams/nightmares have little swing/sway with me anymore.
    although last week one particular nocturnal bubble gave me the solution to some furniture dilemma i was having in my house.
    i have a detachment to my dreams; for they tend to sometimes be very scary and real.
    i like to keep that horror behind the sleepy veil.
    i’ll deal with real life scary thank you. i don’t need the added mash…real or imagined.

  24. aswirly says:

    Oh yes, I think dreams are definitly a tool for storywriting. My friend had a dream years ago which she has never penned, but I wish she would. It’s a complete action / adventure love story with a complete plot, character development, conflict, resolution… absolutely amazing. My dreams are fragmented, very little story, highly visual, and I’m almost always emotionally disconnected which in itself is disturbing. lol

    • timkeen40 says:

      Since I tend to dream in such vivid detail, one place it really helps me is if I need to describe a dream sequence within a story.

      Thanks for the comment….

  25. Your blog here , made me remember when I was a child. Before sleeping I used to look for shapes in the walls and most of the times I stopped doing it when I found out strange shapes and I figured out a monster or a ghost. Then , I fell fast asleep.
    Well, I was just a little girl. Now, I am old and I sometimes, can rmember my dreams.

  26. Cloudia says:

    My dreamlife is very real to me! Thanks so much for visiting my Hawaii blog – so I could find YOU. what a great blog you have. I’m joining!

    you are always welcome with Aloha to Honolulu

    Comfort Spiral



  27. I really enjoyed this post. I have really vivid dreams but rarely end up writing about them.
    (Also, thank you for stopping by my blog!)

  28. I travel the world in my dreams. On one of my dreams I traveled to Beiing China, and would you believe it I did get to visit visit China that year. So I look forward to my adventures in my dreams, who know where I will travel to next in real life.
    Thank you for visiting my site

  29. deadpoet88 says:

    I like what you’ve said about dreams and using them in writing. I know I have really weird nightmares sometimes, and often they would make good thrillers. Haha, haven’t really tried to incorporate them too much in my writing, but I have plans of someday.

    • timkeen40 says:

      Thanks for the comments. I think we all have really weird dreams sometimes. I don’t think all of them are worthy of recording, but every now and then a spot of mustard can become something really profound.


  30. I hardly dream 🙂

    What intrigued me was a statement at the beginning about the age of electricity and I smiled. I grew up in such an age but was not fortunate to own a nightlight nor even have electricity for more than 2 hours a day. Yes, in this day and age a lot do not…
    nice piece as usual Tim and I did not forget…just busy 🙂


    • timkeen40 says:

      Thanks for the reply. I grew up in a part of the country where not everyone had indoor plumbing, bathrooms and such, but always had electricity. I sleep with a fan on, so when the the lights are out, it is so difficult to get to sleep.

      I am glad you liked the blog.

  31. I used to be afraid of my dreams. In my dreams, I was either being chased by scary looking creatures, or drowning. I never died in my dreams; I always woke up before I got a chance to croak. But it was scary nonetheless. Now, my dreams are no longer scary. They’re random stuff that I hardly remember in my waking hours.

    I am very much interested in how dreams relate to my reality. I’ve read that dreams can be symbols of what one wishes for or what one is afraid of. This is true in my case. I’ve dream of receiving money, either a small or big amount of it (something I definitely want to become a reality), and sometimes, I dream of my husband walking away from me, which is something I don’t ever want to happen.

    • timkeen40 says:

      Thanks for your take. I agree with your take on the dream state. I think when you sleep, your inner feelings come out. It is what you really think.


  32. Aleza says:

    Very interesting. I need to start writing about my dreams, they are so vivid, and sometimes form complete stories … but I often leave them behind. Well written post!

  33. I used to have a recurring nightmare as a kid, and then just random nightmares a couple days a month as an adult. Once I started meditating, the nightmares virtually stopped. Once in a blue moon I’ll have one, but mostly I have nice dreams, or dreams of “life-like” events that haven’t/didn’t happen.

  34. Kavita says:

    Ahaa.. this was a very interesting read, Timkeen… I can’t say I am indifferent to my dreams.. But I don’t try too hard to “remember” then after waking up.. sometimes, I wake up crying or even laughing.. but as soon as I am awake, there is ABSOLUTELY no memory of the dream.. and this used to frustrate me a lot! And then later during the day, or maybe even the next, just out of nowhere, I would remember the dream.. strange! Either ways, I write them when I feel it’s worth writing them 🙂 Cuz most of them seem absolutely meaningless anyway 🙂 But yes, they can be a sure source of inspiration for many a poem/write!!

    • timkeen40 says:

      Thanks for the thoughts. My most vivid dreams are increasingly coming when I am having the most difficult time getting to sleep. Once I, look out! The monsters in my head come alive.


  35. writernubbin says:

    I so seldom remember my dreams now, but as a child I remember one in particular that would wake me up, my heart racing. Anything a writer hears, thinks, tastes, dreams, desires, etc. is fodder for a potential story. Look out world! 🙂

    • timkeen40 says:

      You are so right about what a writer hears, thinks, tastes, dreams….all of it. The things that set my mind in motion are a mystery to me, yet. The things that become my stories are things that most people would deem unimportant. If you take the time to go back and read College Money, that one was born because I saw a kiddie pool out of the corner of my eye. I am working on one now that was born of some innocuous statement from a blog I read.

      Thanks for visiting my blog. Thanks for taking the time to help me get better at what I love doing!


  36. leadinglight says:

    I used to be afraid when I was young. Now I see dreaming as an interesting experience.

  37. wherewander says:

    I have dreams that I´ve dreamt over and over since I was a child (long ago).
    I have dreams that in the minute I wake up bring me to previous dreams, like in a movie, as if all of them where part of a whole.
    I have recurrent themes.
    I daydream.
    If they ever inspired me stories? Sure.
    If I´ve written a whole storie based on them. Never.

  38. Wow it was a long way down here to the bottom of your page LOL!…
    Yes Dreams are an important release… And I Dream plenty… Its the Waking Ones that you have to take notice of too.. And the out of body ones..
    You know which is which… For you remember EVERY detail.. …
    Keep following your Dreams~ Dreamwalker~

  39. summer breeze says:

    Thanks for the visit and comments. Dreams are amazing…but are they all dreams? do we somehow see into the future when those ‘dreams’ you have come true just as you dreamt them? Another subject I think…lol have a happy springtime.
    Summer Breeze

  40. jussaraluna says:

    Hello Tim, You’re welcome to my wordpress!
    Very good post about the dreams, I’m so much interested in the language of the unconscious.
    Thank you very much for your visit and comment.
    Have a very nice week

  41. A fascinated post! Loved it!
    Thank you very much for visiting my site, it’s nice meeting you.
    My poems are mostly obsessed with dreams 🙂
    ….so I really enjoyed reading your interesting blog
    I’ll be back…
    Have a wonderful afternoon

  42. Cat. says:

    I have (what I call) “reading dreams” … in those dreams I’m desperately trying to read a book or a letter … I say “desperately”, because most times I can not decipher the writing … I wonder what this all means …

  43. The Hook says:

    I barely remember my dreams. They must not be that good.

  44. Dreams are fascinating, aren’t they? I think inspiration can be pulled from some, and that some offer knowledge to us. I also think that some are just a jumbled mess and have no roots in on every day reality – simply our minds working through the day and stress.

  45. christicorbett says:

    I had a very vivid dream/nightmare as a child and I’ve never gotten over it. Still to this day I have a healthy fear of snakes (in my dream a very big one chased me)

    Great post!

    Christi Corbett

  46. Bodhirose says:

    Some dreams have awakened me with crying or great fear. I believe I’m busy at work while I’m dreaming–they’re trying to help clean up that messy psyche! Like you, I only write down dreams that stick with me well after I wake up and I know there’s a special message in it for me. I just responded to a prompt by Victoria regarding symbolism in dreams. Here’s my response that was full of them:

  47. danroberson says:

    I never knew whether reality or dreams was the scariest. In my dreams I could travel anywhere and see anyone. In real life everything was limited. Since my sleep was usually 4 or 5 hours I didn’t have time for dreams but while awake visions of people I didn’t know and places I’ve never been surfaced. So perhaps they were from my dreams.

    • timkeen40 says:

      Thanks for taking the time to comment. My best dreams are the last ones, just before I wake up. They are so real, I swear I am in them, part of them. It is really something of a rush for me.


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