Writing while half asleep: An experiment

Trees in meadow

Try this: The next time you extract yourself from a dream, write it down. I don’t mean the next time you wake up in the middle of the night, but rather the next time you lucidly decide to leave a dream.

The next day, observe how your half-asleep brain uses words. You might find what I did: There’s an effortless economy that’s enviable, but there are also some weird wordings and mistakes. Fun!

The unedited exhibit:

Scary protest dream, set in Emmaus. There with Mel outside a building when cops pepper sprayed from the roof. We ran, putting bandanas around our mouth/nose. Ran through streets chased by fire ladder truck spraying pepper from hose at top of extended letter. Chased into a park. The mob found an abandoned youth hostel and crowded in out of the rain for bathroom and shower. I said, someone should keep watch. I went to a nook by the door and saw cops near. Yelled officers approaching! and ran back across the meadow. A cop caught me by the back of my rain jacket. I’d lost Mel. While the cop was cuffing three people up against the back of his car, I sprinted off toward a stand of pine trees. Got away for now.


1. “Our mouth/nose” — it works.
2. Fire ladder truck, an interesting compound noun.
3. Letter instead of ladder.
4. Lack of quotation marks.
5. After “scary,” only essential adjectives. Extended, abandoned and three. Counting “rain jacket” and “pine trees” as nouns.
6. “Got away for now.” Still participating in the episode, even though I’m arguably awake.

Photo by K_Gradinger via Flickr.

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