“What is now proved was once only imagined.” –William Blake
Lately, I’ve been thinking that we all take our imagination for granted. That we just assume it will forever stick around whether we choose to use it or not.
That or we take the imagination of others for granted for us.
Problem is, imagination is not an automatic skill we are equally blessed with. Imagination is a muscle just like any other, and to perform at top performance (or to perform at all), you must practice and challenge it habitually.
All great artist, intellectual minds, and otherwise successful individuals in whatever field, depend on their imagination to set themselves above and beyond their peers.
There are several ways to challenge our imagination every day. If you’re a writer, hopefully you already do at least one of these things, whether you are aware of it or not.
1. Read. This is probably something you enjoy doing, if you are reading this in the first place. But try to challenge your imagination. Read a whole new genre that you’ve never tried before. Pick an author you’ve always avoided from the fear that you just wouldn’t “get it”. Stretch your imagination.
2. Make up stories about strangers. There is probably some point in your day where you are waiting around with nothing to do. At the coffee shop waiting for your drink, walking around a grocery store, showering. Use that time to make up fun stories about the people you have seen that day. Be specific. Create dialogue, drama, backstory, whatever strikes your fancy. Have fun with it and be as creative as possible. Remember, no one is editing our thoughts.
3. Read a popular science/gadget/tech article about a something predicted for the future. Then sit back and picture a world where this device existed. What changes/additions would be made? Who would make money off it? Who would hate this device and edgy? This option also works with predictions in sociological, psychological, & biological articles.
“The imagination is not a state; it is the human existence itself.” — William Blake
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- Dear God, Please Give Me Wings…. (inspiredbyfamilymag.com)
- Poison Tree by William Blake (poemlover16.wordpress.com)
- Imagining the Future with Owen Barfield: Towards a Participatory Turn (footnotes2plato.com)