*snark alert* If this true, I’m a brilliant freakin’ writer.
(“Notice the ‘tend’,” he reminded himself.)
Last night’s featured dream was so depressing. I’d rather not recall many details. I awoke upset, and that’s enough.
The dream’s gist was that I’d been fired. I worked for a few years as a teenager, was in the military for twenty years, and then worked as a civilian for another twenty. I was never fired from anything, so being fired in a dream upset me.
Oddly in the dream, I did things to provoke them to fire me. And then I was surprised when it happened. After being fired, I had to go tell my wife. It gets weird, here; homeless, we were living in my office of the company that fired me. I had to wake her up and tell her that we needed to leave because I’d been fired. Then friends and co-workers arrived to clean out my office. As they did, they passed a wall where I was featured as employee of the month, quarter, year, etc. Although we were civilians in this dream, my boss in this mess was a former commander of mine. I was a senior NCO and he was a colonel, but we enjoyed one another’s company, often seeking each other out, so being fired by him made it feel harsher, and very personal. The words he used that stay with me was, “Get your filth out of here.”
Remembering and writing, of course, I’m calmer about it. Many psychological aspects of the dream are exposed. Calmer and more distant from it, I’m able to see the messages I’m sending myself, or the veins of doubts and anxiety being uncovered.
Later today, I’ll probably think more about it and even have a chuckle. I might need a glass of wine to reach that stage.
I dreamed about a Porsche again last night.
I dream about them often, and post about them sometimes. (The last one that I remember posting about was an Arctic blue Porsche cabrio, an older model, and I won the right to drive it thanks to my friend, Kevin.)
Porsche – I’m talking about the car manufacturer – represents success and style to me. I fell for Porsches during my first decade, when I discovered cars and then racing. I became a fan of the E-type Jaguar and the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray.
From them, I found Aston Martin and Ferrari, and then Indy, Le Mans, Can-Am racing, and Formula One. The Ford GT became dominant at Le Mans in the late sixties, but the Porsches were there, too. Then the mighty Porsche 917 came on the scene, and my neighbor, a Volkswagen sales person, brought home a Porsche 911S and took me for a high-revving ride.
In last night’s dream, I was part of some process. I was with many others that I knew. We were outside. Our role was to receive incoming people. While I understood who the incoming were, that knowledge seeped away once I woke up. I don’t know if they were students or refugees, but both of them paw at me as plausible.
My role was to organize and hand out information packages when the newcomers arrived. The task was in my wheelhouse. I did it quickly and easily. That left me with a lot of free time, so I purchased a Porsche.
Silver, it was a new 911 Turbo Cabriolet, a sweet ride. After I ordered it, it arrived. I walked around, admiring it with my wife. Others came and gawked, asking the usual questions about the expensive high-performance car. That’s your car? You bought it? People were amazed that I had the resources.
That statement became key to understanding the dream.
Meanwhile, between my work, I explored the car. First, I got into it with my wife. The foot wells were shockingly small. Oh no, we didn’t fit.
Then, miraculously, we did. The Porsche changed to accommodate us…or did we change? It wasn’t clear in the dream world.
The Porsche’s dash was covered by a black plastic panel to protect it during shipping and delivering. I carefully pried it away, revealing a dash that sparkled like jewels.
I wanted to drive it, but the car intimidated me. I knew it was powerful, and I love mashing the throttle when I’m driving. I knew that with this power, the car could bite me in the ass with that behavior. It reminded me that I’d had a powerful sports car in real life. One person told me that they’d owned one, but traded it in after a few months, because the car’s power scared them. Others told me that they’d test-drove the car, but decided against buying it primarily because of its power, speed, and acceleration. Those were the things I loved about it.
I remembered that car and how I drove it while I dreamed. Those memories reassured my dream-self that I could handle the Porsche. I fired it up and then took it for a short drive, feeling it out, but not opening it up.
I returned to the dealer to do some paperwork. They’d been looking for the car because they hadn’t released it. I was worried that I’d done something wrong, and they laughed, waving it off. “No problem.”
A sales rep took me over to gain full and legal possession of the car. At the counter, I was asked to tell them what car I had. I hesitated. Then I said, “Porsche.”
I hesitated. As I was about to say, “911 Turbo,” the man with me said, “Top of the line, a Turbo, fully loaded.”
“Wow,” people said. Blushing and self-conscious, I said, “Yes, I have a Turbo.”
It was a strangely reassuring dream about my writing as I walked and thought about my writing turbidity. Relax, and don’t fear the process, I told myself. I’m in a Turbo.
Time to open it up and take it for a ride.
I endure a lot of angst about who I am, who I think I pretend to be, and being unmasked as a pretender.
I’m not unusual. Many in western society seem besieged by angst. Writers, from what I read, endure high levels of angst that erodes our self-confidence. We’re always worried about being discovered as a pretender. I think it’s because we’re working alone so often, but also, subconsciously, we compare our works in progress with other published materials and writers. Right or wrongly, we can come out feeling like a loser because we see elements in others’ work that we don’t see in our work.
In retrospect, I believe I suffered an angst spell the other day, when editing fatigue overwhelmed me. There’s no doubt that editing fatigue afflicted me. That isn’t uncommon. I’m usually able to push through. Each of us have limits to how much we can push through. I’d hit mine.
And I believe that my angst contributed. Writing alone, with no one to talk to about my progress, doubts, victories and hopes, leaves me mentally, intellectually and emotionally diminished.
Writing about it was a successful gambit. Just opening up and spilling my concerns was a release. Also helpful is how other writers jumped in with their stories and suggestions. These were enormously helpful to lifting the shroud of doubt and weariness encumbering me. By the next day, I’d resumed editing and revising.
In the aftermath, I considered taking regular breaks from writing, editing and revising to keep me fresh and sharp. Multiple decisions are being made while editing and revising. Some require more thought about the impact on the novel’s overall arcs. It is taxing. Maybe taking breaks would be beneficial.
In classic personal faction, I decided, yes, taking breaks is acceptable, but…scheduling breaks is more troubling for me, so I’ll approach it organically. If I feel a break will help, I’ll do as some comments suggest, and listen to myself.
Now, I have my mocha and I’m at the table. It’s time to edit and revise again, at least one more time.