The Art (and Science) of Using Your Imagination

I believe that from the day I was born I had the power to use my imagination! I believe it is every human being’s inherent gift and I know every writer of every genre believes it too.

Children are free of cynicism and the harsh experiences of life. They don’t know about limits and boundaries and walls, and that is why when I write I do my best to return to my childlike state where it’s so easy to believe that a misty morning means a portal to another world has just opened and anything can come through it (The Mist: Stephen King – although whether I came up with the idea first or him we’ll never know. He just wrote about it first!! He-he!).

Cover of "The Mist (Two-Disc Collector's ...

Cover via Amazon

I’m listening to an audio book called ‘Psycho Cybernetics‘ by Maxwell Maltz. In it he explains the power of the imagination, that is has the ability to create the world around you and shape it into what you would like it to be, into the life you want – and I think I believe him! Now initially our sceptical, cynical adult brains go, “Yeah, riiiight!!”, but, hey, fantasy authors, where’s the belief in your unlimited imaginations now? Why should the harsh reality of our existence negate the possibility that we have the power, with our thoughts alone, to create the life we want when whenever we sit down in front of our computers or notebooks we strip away the limitations of reality and create worlds, characters and circumstances no one else has ever dreamed of?

How’s this for an idea: What if fantasy writers have an understanding – that we’re not quite consciously aware of yet – that we have the ability to turn the mundane into something magical, into something not quite seen or heard of before, into something FANTASTICAL? Does magic exist in our real world? Can we change our lives and remake it into what and how we want it to be? Can we really?

So how can I support what I’ve just said with something that at least sounds logical or plausible? Well let’s look at our predecessors, shall we.

First let me say that I personally cannot imagine writing in any other genre because quite simply with fantasy there is just no limit to what I can put down on paper; there are no brakes, no locked gates, no high walls, no dykes, no ‘reality checks’, no voices saying, “Whoa, girl, you can’t go there!” And that is what stirs my soul and what will  never make writing boring or laborious for me!

Albert Einstein Français : portrait d'Albert E...

Albert Einstein Français : portrait d’Albert Einstein (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Can you imagine what would have happened if Gene Roddenberry and George Lucas had put the brakes on their imaginations, or da Vinci, or Einstein, or Edison, or countless other artists, inventors and scientists who, thank goodness, refused to conform to or accept the limits of reality? Where would our world be with regards to Sci-Fi and Fantasy films, technology, and science? Would we have computers on our phones, astronauts in space, organ transplants, aeroplanes, and nano technology? Of course not!!

Einstein is a man after my own heart. For a mathematician and scientist he understood the importance of not leashing the spirit or the soul. Such quotes as: “Imagination is more important than knowledge” and “The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science”, makes him one of the most inspiring people I’ve ever learned about. Even he understood the importance of using one’s imagination to discover, to learn, to invent, to understand deep truths and receive revelations our unconscious minds, connected to Source/God, know very well indeed. Scientifically speaking, our unconscious minds take in about 400 billion bits of information a second, but because it passes through our filters – our life experiences, good and bad – we are only consciously aware of 2000 bits!

So what does all this have to do with writing? Well, everything! I ask the question: Why do we limit/doubt ourselves when we create and when we write? We have everything we need to create our masterpieces. The trick is to learn to trust in our limitless, unfettered unconscious minds, in our imaginations!

If not for the people who refused to give up, who refused to believe that what they could see with their eyes was all there was, then as a civilisation we would not be where we are now! So when I write I make sure that I, too, do not limit myself in any shape or form for that would mean I cannot take my reader on a journey of mind-blowing excitement, making them believe that what they are reading at that very moment is true, that the emotions they are feeling are real, that for all the time they sit with my book before them the worlds, characters, and adventures they partake in are, in fact, all real! Because, you see, the unconscious mind cannot tell the difference between what’s real and what’s imagined, especially when there are emotions involved! Crazy, huh?

And this, dear fellow writer, is what makes you a god!

Now my religious friends, don’t get upset. I did write it with a small ‘g’, but what I am trying to get across is that God/Source has given us the ability and power to create/recreate our realities, and as writers we have that same ability to create our stories with conviction and total believability so that when our readers get lost in our tales they ‘live’ our stories with us. This is, after all, why we write, don’t you agree?

Fantasy is my chosen genre, but all I’ve said can also be applied to other genres. It’s just that with fantasy we are not held back by anything. When I sit in front of my laptop my mantra is: “Ok, Monique, how far can you go?” and the answer is always: “Well, let me see”. To date I have yet to find a limit, and I firmly believe I never will.

Our imaginations are limitless, fellow writers; as an artist, a creator, a little god, you MUST believe this is a fact.

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About SwordBearer

I am a fantasy and science fiction author. I have published three epic fantasy novels in a tetralogy with Xlibris Publishing, and a sci-fi short story, The Door. All are available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other major online retailers. The Door is also available on Smashwords. I love reading everything from King to Koontz, Cussler to Brooks and Feist, to name but a few. Before writing became my life I was a professional ballet, jazz/contemporary dancer in South Africa. Writing and storytelling have always been passions since childhood, and I want to share them with the world!!

Posted on May 13, 2012, in Believe in Your Writing Abilities, Just Begin!, You are a Creator! Believe it! and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. Wonderful post! I completely agree. I wouldn’t be able to withstand the limitations of the walls of reality other genres must accept. That would destroy the fun of my writing process.

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  2. I agree! It’s all about freedom for me! I would hate to be limited in any way when I get ideas and when I write. Fantasy allows me to fully express all of myself! It’s absolutely way more fun! Thanks for the comment, Marsha!

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  3. I write erotic romance, not fantasy, but I enjoyed your post and especially appreciated the comparison of a writer being godlike. I’ve noted the similarity — we create something out of nothing. We start with an idea in our minds and weave it into a story, creating places and people. And though the story is not physically tangible — it becomes real to our readers. We make them laugh, cry, angry, joyful. And for some writers, I’ll use Shakespeare as a example, the stories and people they’ve created live on forever. We are creators.

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    • Well, I certainly think erotic romance is ALL about fantasy! I enjoy reading it, too. Because our imaginations are limitless there are no boundaries as to what we can create with our hearts and minds! I fully agree with your comment, Cara. Isn’t it amazing we have such power, to be able to steal the full attention (hearts, minds . . . souls?) of our readers whenever they open our books/creations? A huge responsibility but fun and totally euphoric! Don’t you just love writing/creating!!!? Thanks for your sharing your thoughts, Cara.

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  4. Thank you, this was very helpful :). Angie

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