How Dreams Turned the Roller Coaster Of My Reality Into A TV Pilot

Photo: Jamie Meier of Live Love Lens

By Nubia DuVall Wilson

Missing a flight, packing and unpacking suitcases, going blind and getting lost in a house–what do all of these have in common? They are recurring themes I have had in my dreams for the last three years. I first started tracking my dreams when I was a teenager (let’s not talk about how long ago that was…) and I still do today. Back then, I woke up, pulled out my journal and immediately wrote down what I remembered. I always equated my dreams to my never-ending crushes and teenage angst.

Years later, tracking my nighttime adventures has become second nature to me, which means I don’t even have to write them down as soon as I rise–a good thing, since my kids have now taken over my mornings. As soon as I wake up, I automatically think about them, catalogue in my brain how I felt and what took place, and by the evening before going to bed, I am able to write them down if they are worth archiving. This ritual has turned me into the content creator I am today.

You might think this is a strange habit, but dreams have inspired my creative writing greatly and have contributed to my most recent novella, ‘The Survivors Club‘. Back in 2012, I had a very vivid dream about a group of people trapped in a strange room. They were mysteriously brought there and then each individually removed from the place to keep to take over young boy’s life through bodily possession. When I woke up, I knew I had to turn the dream into a short story as a supernatural thriller. I almost wrote it down in one sitting and I called it ‘Phobia’.

Like many of my short stories, I filed it away, but before I did so, I let a select group of people read it to receive feedback. After the positive reactions, I planned to one day do more with it. In the summer of 2016, I realized ‘Phobia’ and many of the dreams of my past were trying to tell me something that I had repressed for many years. I began the tumultuous journey of reliving childhood trauma that year–many of my blocked memories and trapped emotions were uncovering themselves to me in the form of dreams. It was both difficult and fascinating. 

While going to therapy and trying to face things head on, I was having a hard time writing about my emotions in my journal. All I could do was record my dreams, so that is what I did. I noticed patterns, recurring situations and they started peeling away at the layers of my anger, fear and betrayal. A year later decided to expand ‘Phobia’ into something that would increase awareness for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and the long-term effects of surviving childhood sexual abuse, as well as give back to charities protecting children.

The Survivors Club‘ was published in April 2018 and it is a mind-bending thriller that would not have been possible without dreams and courage. My novella is the inspiration behind a new TV pilot project (can’t share the name just yet!) that is currently being pitched for pick up. Unfortunately, many men and woman have experienced sexual abuse: 1 out of 10 children will be sexually abused by the age of 18 and for black women it is 1 out 6 by age 18 per a preliminary study by Black Women’s Blueprint. Even the rapper Common recently talked about his childhood sexual abuse in his recent memoir, ‘Let Love Have the Last Word’.

If you have ever felt like you were in a creative rut or not able to tap into yourself deeply, dreams are an amazing tool to do so. A recent study on dreams and creative behavior found that enhanced dream recall through daily dream logging fosters aspects of creativity because dreams lack boundaries and don’t follow “stereotyped thinking patterns” that our brains are engaged in while we are awake.

We are the most free and limitless in our dreams and history has proven it. Mary Shelley conceived the plot of Frankenstein in a dream. The melody to the world famous song “Yesterday” by the Beatles came to Paul McCartney in his sleep. So put a pad of paper next to your bed or use the voice memo on your smart phone to record your nocturnal life. You might be surprised where it leads you.

For more information on harnessing your dreams to enhance creativity, check out this article to learn more tips.

Photo: Jamie Meier of Live Love Lens

Nubia DuVall Wilson is the founder and president of the PR & marketing agency Cielo Consulting, as well as a published author and journalist. The Survivors Club is a supernatural thriller inspired by her journey to heal as a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. As a content creator, Nubia’s mission is to liberate survivors of sexual abuse by curating content that supports their well-being and gives them a voice and a community to embrace the reality of living and loving after assault; lighting a path of strength and comeradery for a group of people lost in the shadows. Nubia graduated from Barnard College, Columbia University, with a degree in English and a minor in Religion. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, daughter and son. Learn more at Follow her on Instagram and Facebook @EncounterswithNubia and on Twitter @NubiaWilson.

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