Imagination

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.

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2 Comments

  1. Hi Gabe,

    Your writing is very creative, indicative of good thinking skills that challenge and enlarge one’s thinking. Kristi is our granddaughter and has your blog listed on hers so it’s been fun to access it and see your work. I’ve ordered the book coming out in November and am anxious to read your chapter. My neice was homeschooled, took all the AP courses she could to enter Wheaton College as a junior, graduated last year and is now in graduate school there. Her love is literature. Last year Wheaton had an announcement about an opening at Oxford in Medieval Literature which qualified her to attend and experience this unusual study. Keep up the good work of thinking!

    Marilyn (Becky’s mother)

  2. I don’t know If I said it already but …Great site…keep up the good work. 🙂 I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say I’m glad I found your blog. Thanks, 🙂

    A definite great read..Tony Brown

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