Inadequacy Dream: Creative Frustration
The test assignment, Nicholas, was to write a story sparked by the sight of a blob of goopy clay on a piece of paper. In my dream, of creative frustration, I was late for the test but then began my story brilliantly:
Miss Coco Luna loved to go to Raleigh to shop. She ate lunch at the cafeteria. She wore white gloves and a hat.
From there, everything in the writing of the story went wrong:
*Twice my manuscript disappeared when I wasn’t looking
*My pen ran out of ink and I couldn’t find clean paper
*Worst of all, a woman sitting next to me decided to use the name Coco Luna in her story and asked me how to spell “assassinate.”
Her using my Coco’s name infuriated me. I decided to tell on her. I complained to the test administrator, who was once my literary agent (Elaine Markson, who sold Sister India for me and this week died at 87.) Elaine said she’d take care of it.
*When I went back to writing, my manuscript was wet and disintegrating. Time was running out, but no one knew exactly when. A lot of people had finished and left already.
Waking Up To Calm
I was surprised to have this dream, because I’m not conscious of feeling creative frustration at all. Yes, my novel-in-progress is taking forever. But I’m used to that; I went through this with each of my previous novels. And I think my revisions on this one are going well.
So maybe I’m stifling impatience and frustration? Hiding it from myself? If so, I’ll keep on hiding it–there’s no point in messing up my my daytime peace of mind.
I do know I’m aware of “time running out and nobody knows when.”
Even so, I don’t really believe it’s going to run out and I’m sailing along happily most of the time.
Dreams of Old
I used to have inadequacy test-taking dreams a lot. They stopped almost entirely when I was thirty-eight. I wrote about that turning point before.
Not sure what to make of such a convoluted struggle-and-frustration dream turning up now.
Although, I do have one association. There’s another book in the wings that I’ve been working on now and then for years: a biography of an artist/mystic, Elisabeth Chant. She spent some time in a mental hospital and she was widely known as Miss Chant. Perhaps she’s my trigger for the dreamworld Miss Coco Luna.
And of course the other waking life trigger: while I don’t wear white gloves and a hat, I’m a devoted diner at the Raleigh K&W cafeteria.
So maybe it all makes sense one way and another.
I may find that I need to dash off some kind of quick story about Miss Coco Luna. I really am enchanted by that name: Coco, which sounds both spicy and cosy, Luna suggesting both craziness and moonlight. I’d like to at least get to the fourth sentence and see what’s there.
Do you ever have this kind of dream? Does anyone not have at least a few?
Tags: back to writing, dream of creative frustration, dreamworld, Elaine Markson, Elisabeth Chant, enchanted, inadequacy dream, luna, make sense, Raleigh K&W, Sister India, test-taking dream, time running out, turning point, waking up to calm, white gloves and a hat