People often ask me where I get my ideas from, but really the stories I tell come from every place I’ve ever been or read about, every person I’ve ever known or looked at, every song I’ve ever heard or sung. Everything I ever was, it’s all in there on the page, in small bits. When you read me, you get to know me, bit by bit.
I think a misconception about creative people is that “artsy types” were born a certain way. But everyone is born with an active imagination.
Imagination is the primary thing… about childhood?
An active imagination is sort of considered, in a way, the primary thing about childhood. We have imaginary friends, we enact in imaginary play. Give a child a stick, a rock or a wooden spoon and that child will be happy to play with those items for days on end because the imagination can make those things into just about anything.
As a child, the stick can be a sword, or a wand, or a snake, or a rip in time, or a doorway to another dimension, or just a stick – but one that knows everything about whoever touches it.
So then the question is really more: What happens to our imagination? If everyone is born with an active imagination, why is it that so few people pursue a creative career?
Well, there is an important step – actually more a bridge – that connects the imagination (what is internal) and creativity (what is external). Creativity is about the doing, the making; it’s what you can even define as the pragmatic application of the imagination on the real world, really. Dry, but nonetheless true.
But if creativity is about learning how to apply the imagination in a practical way, then that means absolutely anyone can be creative. You just need to practice being imaginative.
Anyone can learn to be creative.
I think those are really powerful words, and I know them to be true. So what does it take to be creative exactly? How does a person bring their imagination into the world? There are books written about this, whole schools of thought. But I think the answer might really be simple.
When a person realizes that their imagination isn’t something they should try to overcome (in order to be more adult), but that it should be fostered and supported and practiced – actually exercised, really – then that person will figure out a way to bring their imagination into the world. The imagination will, if given direction and exercise and time, find a solution. It’s just like anything else we learn. The more practice the imagination gets, the more mastery of it we can develop.
Then we’re able to do more than imagine what a stick might be. We’re able to develop ideas about what WE might be, what we might do.
I might be a novelist. It’s what I imagine for myself and what I hope for, deeply and seriously.
I’ve finally (at last!) finished a draft of my manuscript that I really love: fourth time’s the charm. Yes, really. The working title is Time Dancer Chronicles: The Dragon That Ate the World. It isn’t published yet, but it will be. It will. If you’re interested in following me as I look for a literary agent and ultimately (finally!) get my work published, Join Me by signing up for my UPdates.
Bridge from Imagination to Here
What about you? In what ways are you creative or do you want to be creative? I invite you to share that! Write below, let me know.