Having imagination, it takes you an hour to write a paragraph that, if you were unimaginative, would take you only a minute.
Franklin P. Adams (newspaper columnist)
On writing: how often I have sat with a paragraph, or a sentence, or a word, and struggled to capture the ethereal thought in my head. Or, how often I have simply sat, imagining what it might be like to walk a dusty road in Africa, or what a marriage ceremony looked like between a certain man and a woman, or conjured up a character’s relations, from father and mother and sister, to grandparents and great-grandparents that will never even step near the actual story.
In writing, good imagination brings depth and reality and freshness. A good imagination will make a character seem real and true. A good imagination will capture the most mundane and banal of activities and drench it with significance and make it, well, novel. A good imagination can make a walk to the mailbox or a dinner alone suddenly interesting, when the reader sees more and more of the character who does it, when the reader suddenly sees these banal activities in new ways, with fresh facets.
Yet, a good imagination does not only make writing stronger (and longer). All art is affected in the same way: I can draw a chair in a moment or over days and weeks: either one is a chair but only one has made it interesting, or something more than a chair. And then, if this is true, it is true in all creative endeavors outside of so-called art, those of gardening or business or teaching or…
So may you see imagination and the blessings of it not as something that brings speed, but brings depth and novelty. These always take time. And may you bring your imagination to that which you are most passionate, never finishing shortly, but methodically and intentionally.