The Gift of Nightmares When it Comes to Writing.

When it comes to nightmares, our initial first thought is when you have a bad dream that haunts you. It interrupts your sleep cycle and you can’t think straight. But what if you were able to take that bump in the night nightmare and use it for your own purpose?

That’s what I do.

No seriously.

Here’s the thing about me. I don’t mind reading some thriller, paranormal or supernatural novel. When it comes to watching horror movies, I stay away from them as much as I can. Here’s why…

When I was a kid, I begged my older sister if I could go with her to watch whatever she was going to see at the movies. After a few minutes later she let me go with her. The movie we watched was a horror movie with zombies. With the movie showing so late I thought I would fall asleep, but no. I forgot something crucial about myself. I’m nocturnal. When the moon is up so was I.

Instead of falling asleep I was wide awake, watching every gory scene of zombies taking their prey. Ever since that night, I learned two things.

One, there are two types of horror in the world. The type of horror I find enjoying and the other I dare not see with my own eyes. Horror movies now and days. Yeah…. no thanks

And two, I have a deep hatred for zombies. (Still, hate them to this day.) No matter how hard my friends and family try to convince me to watch anything with zombies, I simply tell them ‘hell no’.

Back to the types of horrors. Through my child mind, I saw horror in two ways. The horror I could enjoy watching and it opened up the curiosity I had for it. For example, my absolute favorite cartoon show growing up was Courage the Cowardly Dog. To many of my friends they would tell me that the show was scary for them as kids, however, it wasn’t scary for me. I was intrigued. Weird things would happen to Courage and his family and he was the one who ends up saving them.

Hate to say, there were some episodes that scared the crap outta me and I would get nightmares from it. But it didn’t stop me from watching the show. However, I got annoyed by the consistent nightmares I got everytime after watching a scary episode of Courage. I needed some way to fight this. Hence, enter writing. Before my passion for writing stories, I was writing my thoughts and poetry.

I decided to use my nightmares and write them down to tell what lies deep in my head. A few were about humiliation, failure, and dinosaurs. Yes, I said it. Not a big fan of them especially the T-rex. I have my reasons, let’s leave that for another time. But many were about creatures and paranormal things. Demons, spirits, angels.

Every time I woke up because of a bad dream I would have a notebook and pen near me and I would write what I saw. After writing it the fear and anxiety went away and when I went back to sleep so would the night terror. This was great. Anytime I wrote it down it would linger in my head for a while before leaving. By the time I was a senior in high school, I realized I could use it to my own purpose. Any bad dream would be the theme for a short story.

I would always surprise my friends whenever they read it. They would assume I would watch horror shows and movies but I tell them no and they look at me in shock. To this day I tell people the same thing and their reactions are the same. The type of horror I enjoy is deep in one’s fears and mind. All the dark thoughts, fears, and your inner dark self and writing a story with those elements. The possibilities are endless.

If what you fear and dream isn’t enough, then watch horror movies. In my opinion no matter what people say, nightmares comes in handy when it comes to writing a thriller, suspense or horror itself.