Not sleep walking, not day dreaming, but ‘dream walking’. A concept that often results in lots of confusion and the wiggling of raised hands amongst the children I teach, has somehow managed to revolutionise my miserable bouts of writer’s block.
In order to get the Little Star Writers full of ideas during our lessons, from time to time we begin with a ‘dream walk’, in which the class close their eyes, get cosy and I proceed to wander around the classroom like a sort of dream-director. As I read aloud they are prompted to imagine themselves within the dream and as soon as the sequence comes to a close, I encourage the students to think about what is going to happen next. They slowly bring their thoughts back to the room and “3, 2, 1…pick up their pens and start writing!”
Frantic scratching and a hushed silence subsequently falls over the classroom as they all hurriedly grab their pens. Each time we do a dream walk the class seem to get more and more acclimatised to the concept and create the most imaginative pieces of writing. Free from the stress of spelling, grammar and punctuation, let loose inside a world of creativity that’s tucked away inside each of their heads, the ideas just keep coming!
And so, the other day I had an idea. What if when I’m struck down by a bout of writer’s block, I took myself on a ‘dream walk’?
What if I spent some time away from my desk and gave myself a chance to get away from the stress and needless faff of deadlines and perfectionism, turned off my internal monologue and gave my imagination a chance to run wild.
So I packed my bag full of cosy treats; a flask full of hot chocolate, a fluffy sheepskin blanket and a my trusty moleskin notebook, and set off for Richmond Park. Whether it was the fresh air, fresh perspective or the spiced-rum hot chocolate that blew away the cobwebs, I don’t know, but I found that the words came more easily after my wet, windy and beautiful ‘dream walk’.
And so I thought, perhaps if you’re having trouble getting a story on the page, or putting off writing a difficult piece to deadline, why not take a minute and set out on a mini adventure of your own.
This post was sponsored by 24 Bottles, who’s beautiful thermos made my walk a whole lot warmer.