Breaking writer’s block by dreaming

I think the more educated and well-read you get, the more difficult it is to get over creative writer’s block.

At least in my case, I feel that it is difficult to think of something that could be a good plot for a story, play, etc. that is “original” enough to have any literary merit.

Every writer hopes that the next time they sit before a blank sheet of paper, typewriter, keyboard, slate, whatever, that they’ll churn out something incredibly brilliant that no one has ever thought of before.

The problem is, sometimes it feels like everything has already been thought of.

I’m writing a play for a contest (I only have a week before the deadline, eek!) and I’m a fast writer so I’m not too worried about actually getting the text out in time. I am, however, having a hard time figuring out a plot. Without a plot, there’s not much my speedy fingers can do.

Fortunately, I had a strange dream that might be able to help me out — I dreamed that there was a strange town that had a sort of classy allure. It was clean, modern and developed but also had an old world charm and several buildings dating from the 16th or 17th century or so. You’d figure it would be somewhere European but it felt sort of American to me. It seemed to have a dark, industrial past from which it emerged. It sort of sounds like Hoboken but it was magical, more real and more sophisticated.

I reached a dark street where there was a this big stone wall or bridge or something with a brass horse’s head on it and the words HORSE STREET. To the left, I passed an old church before getting to a house that might’ve been part of the church or a house that belonged to some important person.

The house was now an underground club run by a glamorous, mysterious man who was hiding dark secrets in the club. He was an old friend of mine, apparently, so I wanted to help him out when local priests came into the club looking to expose its debauchery.

The priest even tried to go into the bathroom, which was antique and resembled a schoolhouse washroom. But I quickly passed him and darted inside. When he looked at me incredulously, I just said, “I have to pee.” I closed the door, took a deep breath, and admired the room’s decor while waiting for the men to go away.

Later, my glamorous friend thanked me for my help by rewarding me with a bracelet made with a blue ribbon intertwined with the oddly soft, somewhat broken body of what appeared to be a figurine. It felt life-changing to receive such a gift, especially since there was something very unique about my friend. He was revered by his followers like a god, and while I didn’t exactly feel that way, I felt incredibly special that he had honored me with the present.

A woman who looked almost like the figurine appeared, dressed like a harlequin of some sort, scowled at me because I had won his favor.

I don’t know what the dream means, but I find it pretty inspiring. Let’s hope I can get something done soon!

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About Summer Dawn Hortillosa

Summer Dawn Hortillosa is a journalist specializing in arts and entertainment. Among other things, she is also an award-winning playwright, director, singer-songwriter and actress. Her work has been seen in The Jersey City Independent, The Jersey Journal and other publications.
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