This weekend I thought I had discovered the answer to my prayers, a perfect method to develop my novel’s plot and characters and it could all be done without losing out on sleep. Reading the current issue of Mslexia I came across Clare Jay’s article on Dreamwriting where ‘Clare Jay explores a new route to inspiration’.

I have always had vivid dreams that I can remember clearly so the idea of dreamwriting sounded ideal. What Clare describes is using lucid dreaming, whereby the dreamer is aware they are within a dream, in order to explore how a scene might plan out for example, somewhat like a movie director. At was at this point in the article I began to have a little less enthusiasm for the idea. It seemed like an awful lot of thinking to be done at I time I am supposed to be resting.

Clare later goes on to explain how elements of dreams have prompted ideas and it turns out she is not just one of these airy fairy types but she actually has a PhD on the subject! Again, my interest was peaked. Being creative whilst dreaming might not be that restful but it could be a whole area of my life I am failing to tap into and use even if it is only at infrequent intervals.

On the basis of this new tool of creativity I have since made efforts to explore some lucid dreaming but it has not worked. I go to bed thinking that I need to become aware I am dreaming but nothing. I had assumed, dreaming as much as I do normally, this would have come naturally to me, however, up until now my new plan to write while sleeping (it did sound too good to be true) has yet to succeed.

If anyone has had success with lucid dreaming or any tips of how to do this and use it creatively please let me know.

What Writing Magazines Have to Offer

Today I have been mostly reading October’s issue of Writers’ Forum and, for my birthday, I have a good idea that I’ll be getting a subscription to Mslexia. But how useful are writing magazines?

There are three main writing magazines that may be of interest to budding and experiences writers:

Writing Magazine
This is probably the bestselling magazine for writers and is available for subscription with Writers’ News. Subscribers I have spoken to appear to learn a lot from the magazine but it has less to offer the experienced writer, many do however find Writers’ News invaluable for information on the current writing market.

Writers’ Forum
Many writers I have spoken to now feel that Writers’ Forum has the edge over Writing Magazine. It provides a wide range of features, regular columns and writing exercises that is in keeping with the current market.

A quarterly magazine for women who write, Mslexia will not be for everyone. The articles are usually longer than those featured in its competitors and could be described as more self exploratory, it also includes an extensive list of upcoming competitions, festivals and courses.

The problem I usually find is that there will be articles in an issue I don’t find particularly useful because they are about a genre I do not write in. If you are a magazine addict or just want a broad insight into the writing world this is something you probably won’t mind, otherwise check the magazine content before you buy an issue. Writers’ Forum and Writing Magazine can be picked up in many newsagents and Mslexia can be purchased from their website as an individual issue.

A writing magazine does not have to be an annual investment. If you find you are buying a magazine every month and enjoying it perhaps then consider subscribing.

Besides features, author profiles and exercises I find one of the most valuable aspects a writing magazine has to offer is the inspiration it can conjure. Sometimes reading about an author’s success or what an agent is looking for is just what you need to encourage you to stop reading and start writing! Ultimately writing magazines are great tools but you must always remember: they are not writing.