Nightmares. Most people have a negative association with them, but if we dig down to the root cause of our dislike; and dispense with the psychological mumbo-jumbo; we resent them because they scare us.
Personally, I find nightmares are an underrated experience. They stimulate my imagination which is most helpful to a writer of Horror. I crave inspiration from any source, so over a period of several years I researched the subconscious, then tracked and recorded my dreams. Harvesting storylines and ideas in payment for the broken sleep and fearful awakenings being the goal of this self-experimentation.
I managed to roughly calculate the temporal origins of quite a few dreams. My brain seems to take around 3 days to mull things over before giving the bits it doesn’t understand to the subconscious. The subconscious has a quick look at these leftovers and weaves a fantastic story around them. Upon waking I quickly, (blearily), write down the feelings and sights; and, as they are not meant to be remembered, I also get a perverse pleasure from capturing them.
I read that it is rare to dream in colour. At the time I couldn’t say for sure if I ever had. I focused on this ability for a time and eventually found dull greens and browns coming through in my descriptions. Nothing vivid or outstanding unfortunately.
While I was immersed in my serial novel, Fatal Cure, you might think I’d be inundated by nightmares. I was dealing with creatures and situations that were fully intended to cause bad dreams in other people, yet I can only remember one occasion that it came back on me. That one solitary Zombie chase was nothing too special either. Just the usual irritating, frozen-legged frustration of not being able to run; the wild swing and miss that puts the soundly sleeping wife at risk. (So much for sleep’s paralysis that is supposed to protect her.)
Perhaps I used up all my fear in the telling. If that is the case I should write a story about being broke.