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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Writing and the Imagination

I woke up this morning not fully myself; part of me was still participating in the dream I woke up from.  The dream lingered in my mind for quite some time, which isn't at all unusual.  I have always been a vivid dreamer with the ability to recall the slightest details.  In fact, I've always wanted to keep a dream journal.  But I think that's a lost cause for me.  They just take too long to write due to the amount of detail.  As I was considering the dream this morning, I began thinking about the imagination and writing.  I rarely dream about things that are going on in my life or about people I know.  And although I am aware of all the dream studies that have been done and how much information there is that suggests our dreams reflect our sub-conscious mind, for the most part I think my dreams are a figment of my imagination, except on the rare occasion when I can connect the dots and see why I dreamed about a particular thing/person/etc.  And this makes me wonder about the writing abilities of people with highly active imaginations. 

For me, I believe creating a story has a lot to do with my imagination.  What usually happens is I get an idea for a story, and the majority of it just takes shape.  I don't have to think about what the characters to look like.  I see them in my mind first and then write them down.  I don't wonder too much what the characters are going to do; their "lives" play out in my mind without much thought from me.  Now making all the pieces fit isn't necessarily easy just as figuring out how to word it all isn't.  In other words, the writing part isn't a piece of cake, but the story itself comes to life on its own.  I've never had a problem "picturing" a scene, that's for sure.  All this makes me wonder about the correlation between writing and the imagination. 

Now all that being said, I do not think a person has to have a great imagination to produce a great story.  My opinion is that some people have no trouble at all with the creative or technical aspect of writing; some people struggle with all of it.  And more than likely, the majority falls somewhere in between the spectrum.  I'm curious what everyone else thinks.  Feel free to leave a comment, and thanks in advance.


  1. Great post.

    I believe that you do not necessarily need to have a vivid imagination to be a good writer. I have a friend who writes what she sees- a boy braiding his girlfriend's hair, for instance, or a worn out coffee table in her sister's house and how neglected it is.

    The things she writes about are so simple- something you'd never think to write up- but her stories are some of the most wonderful reads I've come across.

    So, that's my opinion. Part of being an author is finding what works for you and focusing primarily on that. If you want to branch out and test new things, go for it- but try and keep your main subject on something you know- it'll lead to less frustration and less of an inclination to quit.

    Thanks for making me think!


  2. I agree. What works for one writer won't work for another. Thanks for commenting.


Thanks for sharing your thoughts!