How attached are you to your dreams?

Taking feedback and running with it

I’m still thinking about the story that I mentioned in a post earlier this week, the one that I ran by the beta-testers that I’d acquired through my newsletter.

On Monday, my sister phoned, and she wanted to know about the comments people had made about the story (she had been one of those to offer feedback). In particular, she wanted to know which comments were those which I’d mentioned had popped up multiple times.

I told her what the comment was, and then added:

“It’s probably true, and I’m going to have to deal with it if I want the story to ever sell, but first I have to get over my attachment to this draft.”

The problem

Usually, I write stories that are pieced together from all sorts of incidents that happen in my life, intertwined with things I read in the news (especially science news) or whatever I’m reading. I weave all sorts of elements together into something new and exciting, and if I need to embellish it, tailor it, whatever, it’s all good.

But the story I’d sent out to the mailing list a couple weeks back was an nearly literal transcription of a dream, interpreted immediately upon waking and written down hours later. And even though I know I’m going to have to change that story away from how it unraveled in my head, I can’t seem to let go of that original vision. It doesn’t matter that it’s for the good of the story.






Is that weird?

Got help for me?

I’m hoping some of you out there have written stories, poems, or articles straight out of your dreams and can offer me some advice about how to let go. If you’ve got some advice for me, I’d love to read it in the comments.

4 thoughts on “How attached are you to your dreams?

  1. I don’t think it’s weird at all, but I also don’t have any solid advice. I guess the best I can suggest is that you leave it alone for a while and, when you go back to it, you approach it solely as editor. What would you say to me if I’d written it? I also believe that may just not be possible. Is there some nugget of it you can recreate in a different format (poetry?) that preserves the dream memory, but frees you to manipulate the story … ? I’m torn as that seems like a lot of work that may or may not be worthwhile. Maybe instead of editing you need to create a new story that resolves the issues others see? Hmmm… I’m interested to see the next chapter in THIS story.


  2. I like that idea of using time to switch from my writing hat to my editing hat and thinking of the story as someone else’s work.

    The funniest thing is that one of my friends read the story yesterday AND SAID THE SAME THING ABOUT THE ENDING AS EVERYONE ELSE.

    As if the message weren’t clear enough already. ;P

    Maybe I should save this draft to use with students in the future to model how to identify structural weaknesses in a story.


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