The more I work, the more my mind is open to ideas. I have found it important to harvest these ideas and make sure to spend a little time fleshing them out a bit before they are forgotten.
While some of these stories will never be seen to full development, getting them down on paper allows me the freedom to read back through each concept and see which one calls to me as something that needs to be written.
Some ideas evolve and others will fade away. Either way, the act of creation is an exercise that keeps my mind from growing stale. It has also benefited me by taking my existing stories to new places or freeing me from a writer’s block.
I recommend to anybody who is writing to open their minds to whatever comes their way. even if it does not relate to your current project. The next story just might just find you.
I have come to believe that imagination and creativity are muscles deep in the brain that tend to atrophy if not exercised regularly. As adults, we lose touch with the part of us that sees a box as a fort, rocket AND a time machine. Now we see a box as something that can be recycled or used to store things. Our lives become consumed with work, bills, chores, etc. Stress and worry have replaced imagination and creativity.
Growing up, my world was full of magic and possibilities. I grew up on a farm and my school friends were not living next door. This meant that I had to rely on my imagination for entertainment. In those days, I would create worlds where Super Bowls were won, dragons were slayed and treasure was found.
Today, I am a father of two incredible boys. They have become my imagination professors and play is our classroom. An example of an imagination lesson came in the form of a text from my son’s preschool teacher. She sent me a picture of my five-year-old wearing a Mardi Gras mask, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle costume and a tutu. He was full of pride and joy with his creation.
I am inspired to write my story from moments like that. It helps me get in touch with my inner child and create characters that still see the box as a rocket ship and believe they will grow up to be a fire fighter and a football player.
So, whenever you need to workout your imagination, watch kids play, there is so much we can learn.