Personal

The Dream Where My Brilliant Blog Piece Disappeared

Sleeping brain throws up vanishing stories and possible collisions

The panic.

The abhorrent panic!

My heart, lungs and entire stomach contents lurching upwards in one sudden, violent movement, and my forehead burning taut with incomprehension. And terror.

Blog day. A brilliant piece ready and it had just … disappeared!

The night before, as I bumbled up the stairs to bed, my head was still spinning after a busy Sunday night production shift on the newspaper sports desk.

I would be up early this morning for the usual school morning ruckus with dogs and kids, and then quickly upstairs to write my latest Endastories epic — I was full of the usual excitement and trepidation as my head hit the pillow.

Brain was soon going at it big time, wildly free-associating and alluding, tossing up images and blinding intuitions, alternating nonsense with genius word riffs that vanished as quickly as they arrived.

In those blinky moments before actually waking, I was finally happy I knew exactly what I was going to write.

I could actually see it, in the form of one of the newspaper articles I had been working on all evening.

But then my eyes opened in cartoon panic when I suddenly realised all the words had vanished from my newspaper page!

Bleak, blank text boxes snaked around the central photograph on the page of a little girl in a soft pink sweater, which I now recognised as my wife’s.

And I remembered more: smack in the middle of my nighttime reveries, brain had thrown up this appalling vista; my wife and I in the car, coming around a bend, her driving … we were in the countryside, I was aware of a field on our left, when, eek!, the same little girl, with long tumbling tresses like our K when she was that age, was standing in the middle of the road, sideways on to us, gazing at the daisy she had just plucked, and I was screaming at A to veer right, grabbing the wheel …

Association is the best part of looking at dreams, of course, and this one was pretty rich.

Oh, don’t worry, we didn’t hit the girl! Brain jump-cut to another scene … I don’t remember what.

There was the excitement of writing a new piece mixed with the fear of failing to come up with something decent.

Of drawing a blank.
The panic of losing the story was pretty raw, as I had been working the previous night with a newspaper I hadn’t worked with before.

I don’t know what newspapers are like elsewhere, but here, in Ireland, national newspapers have their own way of doing things.

I laugh sometimes when I hear about people starting new jobs — nay, career transitioning — weeks of inductions, and meetings, and getting to know the work gang … you know, paintball weekends and bonding bolloxology bordering on the spiritual, and you’re finally ready to take your place on the greatest team on earth …

In the newspaper world here, you land into a busy place, are introduced to the main person, who is up to their eyeballs actually getting the newspaper ready.

They direct you to the nearest computer station that is free, and assign one of the team to get you set up. This person is also working in stories, so has just a couple of minutes to talk you through it all.

You have grabbed a banjaxed office chair, jacked it up or down to something approaching your specifications, and are now sat in front of your screen, at a desk space with more coffee cup rings than the Olympic symbol, and littered with old newspapers and discarded page proofs, which you elbow aside to establish your personal work station.

Docking completed.

You sign in to their production system — this is assuming you have been lucky enough to get hold of an IT guy and have your own log-in and password, by no means a given.

In between working on laying out stories, editing, captioning and composing snappy headlines, your designated guide will give you a quick outline of how the production scenario works — and each system is different, slightly or a lot — and you sit there, trying to look nonchalantly seasoned, as you scribble a few notes on the back of an article proof, since you forgot, of course, to bring a notebook.

And that’s it, induction, bonding and enlightenment all in a couple of snatched 60-second bursts, and you are off: editing away, sweating out headlines and the rest.

You have assembled and intuited just enough to be able to call up stories and work on them.

When you hit a problem or style issue, maybe, you ask one of the busy gang casually, as if just seeking a reminder of something you already knew.
Induction, my arse, as Jim Royle might put it.

As a freelance, the fear of f***ing up is never far away, especially on this first evening in a new place.

I had been called in only a couple of hours before the shift started.

Just time to shower, get O up to speed and let my wife know — she was out clothes shopping with K and a pal, and it took three calls because she didn’t immediately hear the phone in the shopping centre — and order a taxi. Actually, three cab companies before I get one to bring me to the train station — and charge me a small fortune on this Sunday afternoon.

The sub-editing part is fine — it’s what I do — it’s the getting used to their particular production system, and house styles, that generates the pressure, and all the while I’m nosing on an endless supply of nibbles and food from my bag, and quaffing coffee. Nerves.

The odd “How is it going?” from the lads expertly busy on the main desk — a grand bunch, I am sure — and me piping back “grand!”

I’m an experienced hack, me!

It’s exciting too, of course, and the evening actually passed quickly.

The other associations around my dream are more personal.

Let’s just say we have a canvas poster of K as a toddler with those same tumbling blonde tresses as the kid in the newspaper photo in my dream.

That’s the main picture accompanying this piece

When K was 18 months old, I wrote a little poem after watching her playing in the garden:

For K at 18 months

Grinning, spinning, in accelerating circles of delight

Outstretched fingers plucking at the breeze

Dribbling cherub in light purple summer dress

With daisies on chocolate-spattered bodice

Swerving, curving on patch of city garden

Revelling in the determined random

Unimagined imagination throws up

Stumbling, drawn-out fall

Nappy-cushioned landing

Querying ‘Ooh!’ of dizzied delight

Precisely stepping off the hem to rise for more

Me, standing back, not needed but vital

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About endardoo

A newspaper sub-editor for many years, I am now a freelance sub-editor, blogger and content writer. Husband of one and house daddy of two: a feisty, style-crazy 14-year-old girl and a football nut of a boy aged 13. My website: endastories.com.

58 comments on “The Dream Where My Brilliant Blog Piece Disappeared

  1. Tracey Carr

    I love how to describe what your brain does when your head hits the pillow at night Enda because it reminds me so much of me! Images flashing, visions and ideas, the cogs in complete overdrive as you are falling asleep. I’ve actually sat up in bed at times and turned the lamp on to quickly jot down an idea I’ve had before it leaves me. You’re right, sometimes these bursts leave you as quickly as they appear in front of you. My husband thinks I’m a bit mad I think…..but sometimes needs must! #globalblogging

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Tracey … don’t mind him, it’s part of the creative thing!! I sometimes jot things down in my phone, which is beside the bed!

      Like

  2. What a lovely poem Enda. I love the photo too, is it really K, what gorgeous hair she has? I find dreams can be really quite disturbing and you need to analyse and take them apart just to understand what your brain is trying to tell you. I hope your work with the new newspaper went well after all.
    I hate how I can think of the perfect blog post just before I go to sleep and then in the morning…nothing…or even worse, I try to put it into words and it just doesn’t work.
    Sweet dreams Enda.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Anne … her hair isn’t like this now … too much messing with straighteners and hair dyes and all sorts. Teens girls here seem to have this desire to flatter their hair, but she will do what she wants to do! The work was fine; it usually is, but the first night can be a bit nerve-racking, especially when you are winging it as bit and pretending you are all calm and knowledgable! I was being ironic about having composed a brilliant post in my sleep … it just seemed that way in my raving dream state! Hehe

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hey Enda,

    My littles had those curls too… Where on earth do they go? With the missing socks? Wonderful post, as always. Love the poem, and your whole piece of the internet! #dreamteam xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m so glad that we writers all seem to share the trait of waking in a panic to write down things for fear of forgetting them in the mess of ideas that are churning. And I’m happy to hear your brain jumped without hitting the girl, mine didn’t jump once and I had to watch a horrific train derailment that woke me up. Then I called everyone I knew to check on them… in the middle of the night. They weren’t thrilled. #ABitOfEverything

    Like

  5. I have never had the dream of a vanishing blog post. When I was a teacher, colleagues had dreams of standing in front of a class and realizing they had no clothes on or coming to class completely unprepared, but I never had one of those dreams, either. When My kids were little, I used to work as a waitress at night while hubby worked during the day. I used to have dreams of failing at waitressing. I couldn’t get around to all the tables, I would forget drink orders, orders would get messed up, everything that could go wrong did go wrong in my dreams. I used to wake up in a cold sweat!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha … You were obviously too good a teacher to fear messing up! But waitressing wasn’t where it was at for you! Mind you, if you had started juggling back then you would have been one mighty waitress😀

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Love this post. Such a great poem and so true. I love the photo too. Hugs xx #WOTW

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I have had similar dreams where something I wrote that I was so proud of disappeared. And sure enough the next day, I couldn’t find it. It didn’t disappear though. It’s just misplaced. Still is. I’ll find eventually but it nags at me in the middle of the night sometimes. Love the poem! #GlobalBlogging

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh Enda, you bring back so many memories of my newspaper days. Quite whether the Millennials working for the UK’s papers will tolerate the conditions I tolerated but, yes, banjaxed office chairs, poor introductions and staff too busy to speak to you all came as part of the package. And then there was an occasion you will no doubt relate to. the perfectly polished article, ready to file from from overseas….when I kicked the plug socket and turn of the PC just as I was about to hit send, losing the work forever.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi John … thing is the Millennials with a newspaper bent are only too delighted to get a shot at this madness. The noose tightening all the time for newspapers, which of course also presents possibility for exploitation … opportunity for the less than scrupulous in crisis, after all. Shift rates going down, and whole sub desks disbanded and shifts provided by sub-contractors. Still, I’m not as prone to panic as in earlier years, and happy to keep on trucking or subbing. And yes, i can relate to your tale of the lost story. The IT guys are vital here!!!

      Like

  9. mackenzieglanville

    I love dreams, I always recall a few the next day and I sometimes wonder how certain people who I may not have even thought about, or seen for years just pop on in to them? I sometimes still dream that I am at high school and failing my subjects and I fear I won’t graduate with my friends, I have been having this dream for years and I always wake up and then remember that I did graduate school and even university and it is always a huge sigh of relief!
    Your daughters hair was so pretty, Aspen had curls and then I cut her hair at age 2.5 and her hair went straight and still is. April had straight hair which now at 12 is going curly. I have curly and I straighten it most of the time, girls can be weird like that. Beautiful poem.
    Thanks for linking up #ABloggingGoodTime

    Liked by 1 person

    • K’s hair is a deal shorter now, but she is always doing things to it with straighteners and all that, and dyeing it, so we have never seem those curls since she was very young! It really is amazing when people and situations from years back appear from the deepest recesses! Thanks Kylie

      Like

  10. I can relate. I’ve been an IT freelancer/contractor. Pretty much the same. If you are given a health and safety talk by HR or the building facilities, then you’ve landed in a good set up. Even IT contractors have to hunt down IT support for logins! Falling asleep and waking up are my most creative moments, I think. Losing those well rehearsed words over night would be a nightmare. #wotw

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Tracey Carr

    Back from #abitofeverything

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I love her curls so beautiful. I hate it when I have a million thoguhts when I desperately want to go to sleep X #wotw #dreamteam

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Sam … I don’t mind brain interrupting if it was something good, but mostly it’s gibberish that only seems great!!!

      Like

  13. Our minds can do some crazy things, can’t they? I’ve had some really weird dreams this week, but I don’t know what they are about. I even rolled over in one, and called my husband and ‘inconsiderate pr**k! haha

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I’ve had actual blog posts and short stories disappear, and I’ve composed brilliant short stories at night only to fail to remember them properly at the keyboard. It’s the worst. So frustrating or heart breaking. Lovely photo #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have not lost much of value, but i have often felt that sensation of thinking I had written something brilliant, only to have zero recollection of the actual content!!!

      Like

  15. I love your poem. It perfectly conjures up the image of an 18 month old playing happily in the garden. I had very similar dreams when writing my dissertation. Even when I knew it was finished and printed, my brain wanted me to think it had disappeared! #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Oh my the newspaper world sounds like it travels at quite the pace… I am not sure I would be able to keep up. Working in HR I would be waiting for my two day induction programme and lunches with everyone haha!

    Love the poem too. Thanks for bringing your thoughts to the #DreamTeam

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Tracey Carr

    Back from #KCACOLS !

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Your poem about K is just beautiful. I have so many ideas that get clogged up in my brain and very rarely turn out on my website how I imagine. Thanks for linking up with #globlablogging

    Like

    • Thank you so much for saying so, Laura. I never know how things are going to turn out in my blog until I start typing … I often have a topic in mind, and then change tack completely … it’s a journey of discovery for me too, and one reason why i why I really love blogging!

      Like

  19. I can imagine how the anxiety of a new job can trigger a dream like this – having a brilliant idea for a post, writing it out only for it to disappear is a nightmare! Love the poem and that photo of K. #WotW

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Lovely poem! I’ve often woken up to a blank page when I’ve fallen asleep with my finger on the backspace key!! And on the iPad so no way to get back what I’d written. So frustrating! #globalblogging

    Like

  21. So true. Isn’t it funny how our minds play that memory loss trick. I’ve woken up with great ideas only to find that they have evaporated or just not been as good as they seemed in my head! #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

    • In my own case it can be a bit of both … some ideas evaporate, as you say, and others just don’t stand up to closer scrutiny! Thanks Jo

      Like

  22. Sometimes I hate how our minds whirl at night awake and asleep. The things we dream about can seem so real sometimes. I have never worked for a newspaper or magazine, the training you described sounds…. interesting lol.
    #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

    • It does … the sink or swim method, Ali! I suppose a busy head produces interesting things … thanks for commenting

      Like

  23. Congratulations on the new job. It’s always such an exciting and yet anxious time. No wonder your brain is producing such vivid dreams. Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well it’s not a new job … I work freelance, it was just a different newspaper! Still anxiety provoking. And thank you

      Like

  24. Reading this was stressful and delightful in equal parts! Much like daily life is! x #KCACOLS

    Like

  25. I’ve never dreamed about losing a blog post, but quite often as im drifting off to sleep I will get an idea for a post that seems to flow quite effortlessly, yet by morning if I can properly remember the general outline, the flow of words has vanished.

    #abitofeverything

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Popping back from #KCACOLS Hope you haven’t had any more stressful dreams!

    Liked by 1 person

  27. I used to have terrible dreams about losing schoolwork when I was still studying. I’d spend all night finishing an essay and then have a dream about it being wiped and wake up in a complete panic! #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

    • Panic stations! At least there is a happy ending when you woke up … unless the dog ate your essay!! Thanks, Christy

      Like

  28. I am sure everyone can relate to having similar dreams of losing something important to them. I know I have through the years. Knock on wood, I haven’t dreamed of losing a blog post, but I have dreamed of having my entire blog wiped out on me. Ironically that is what happened to me recently!

    #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Back, albeut too slowly, but back nonetheless from #abitofeverything xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

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