Do you dream a lot?
I have funky strange dreams. And maybe a couple of times of month, I'm able to do what's called lucid dreaming. I find this ability a pretty handy one - especially when my dream is going so well. Once I was dreaming that I was in a school being attacked by a couple kids armed with automatic weapons. They were slaughtering everybody. I ran into the office, which was guarded by a cop. Well, the two intruders mowed down the guard and stormed the office.
I stopped my dream (think Zack Morris from Saved By the Bell), and rewound everything. Then I whipped up an entire squad of heavily armed Marines. Then hit play. When the dream resumed, the two intruders were stopped by my soldiers. Happy Ending.
To this day, however, I have yet to be inspired by an actual dream in my everyday creative world. But I know many of YOU have been. History is full of examples of great innovators being directly inspired by their dreams. Just take a look:
Stephen King: He fell asleep on a plane and dreamed about a crazy woman keeping a writer prisoner. His dream was MORE freaky. In it, the woman killed the author, fed his remains to a pig, and bound a book with the author's skin. It didn't quite happen that way in his novel, Misery, but you get the picture.
Robert Louis Stevenson: During a creepy nightmare, he imagined himself splitting in two. And the police were chasing after him for committing some crime. During the pursuit, he consumed some kind of powder to change back to his normal self. His wife actually woke him from his dream, and he started celebrating that he had discovered a wonderful plot to write The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
James Cameron: This great director was sick and suffering from a high fever. While dreaming, he imagined a silver figure emerging from a big fire, and it ended up being an evil, menacing cyborg with red eyes. The machine dragged itself across the kitchen with knives. Thus, The Terminator was born.
Mary Shelley: She had a nightmare about some young scholar kneeling next to a monster of a man that had been re-animated using a machine. The vision scared her to the point where she woke up screaming...first in complete terror, then in absolute joy. She had the inspiration to write her great novel, Frankenstein.
Paul McCartney: Sir Paul was filming the movie Help! with his fellow Beatles, and was asleep up in some attic of his family's home in town. He dreamed about a tune being played by a string orchestra that he thought he had heard when he was a kid. When he woke up, the melody was still in his head and he realized that it was not a song from his childhood, but an original song he had just made up. He immediately went to a piano, and he started playing what would become Yesterday.
How about you? Have you EVER been inspired by an actual dream?