Here is another post in my WRITERLY WISDOM series I first ran back in 2013. Five years later, I’ve updated the material and made sure it still applies to today’s writers. This week’s guest blogger is the wonderful Wendy Whittingham…a talented artist and someone I’m honored to call a friend…
Reinventing Your Imagination
By Wendy Whittingham
Suppose people were born without an imagination? (I can’t even imagine it!)
Don’t let my normal appearance fool you. You’ve no idea what flies into my head at a moment’s notice. (Mind readers, back off!) As an artist and writer and all-round creative soul, most days I find my brain racing with ideas. I don’t understand people who hit a brick wall and seem to be always seeking lightbulb moments. I have enough ideas to light up the Taj Mahal. (Holy Moley, it sure is bright in here!)
Sadly, as the general population matures, they begin to think about life with a more realistic perspective. The brain develops as we become adults and our thought processes and behaviours change. The truth is, our creative side is put on hold and we stop imagining. In short, we learn to be boring. (Not me though!)
Is there any way of reversing this cruel reality? And what sort of person would pursue the task of reinventing their imagination? It’s not something that can be acquired at the local shopping mall, place of worship and you can’t sign up anywhere to apply for a new imagination. (Right about now I bet you’re wishing you hadn’t lost it in the first place!)
Perhaps you’re toying with the idea of reinventing your imagination. What I mean is, you’ve made the decision to take it to another level. Suppose you could close your eyes and imagine a whole new angle on the things around you? Would you dive right in, or would there be some hesitation on your part? Come on, what would you have to lose – or gain? (I knew you’d see it my way!)
There is plenty to gain, and nothing to lose. Now here’s the hard part. You need to find a way to actually go about doing it. I bet you can think of a zilllion of excuses not to try, but come on! Living a colorful enriched life means being a risk taker, and if we need to go out on a limb, let’s find the longest and most precarious limb. Seriously, if you want to make a change, you have to feel uncomfortable. This goal is no walk in the park. So, relax and try some of the suggestions below. (Easy peasy lemon squeasy!)
Find a place where you can be alone, close your eyes and imagine you’re no longer an adult. This spot is where your childhood self exists and in this place there is no stress, no inhibitions and no disappointments. No one telling you that isn’t true, or that isn’t doable or you’re wasting your precious time on something that will prove to be worthless. The new voices you will hear inside your head are your own creation and they’re okay! Have fun in your childhood place – play, dream and create like you used to. Who cares what other people think? And hey, if you can find a like-minded friend to do this with, it will be twice as fun! (Two kids’ heads are better than one!)
If finding or moving into this zone, is uncomfortable or difficult for you, give plan B a try.
Head outdoors. Depending on where you live, enjoy the world around you. Whether you simply sit on the front porch step, walk or jog along a sidewalk or hike up a rocky trail, take time to smell the air, listen to the sounds, gaze in all directions. Do you see birds, clouds, mountains, skyscrapers? Being outside, wherever that may be, erases all the short term stuff in your head and allows you to keep only the important thoughts. Oh, did I mention inviting a friend, (imaginary or real) along? Sometimes it’s good to have someone else there so you can bounce ideas. (imaginary friends have awesome imaginations!)
Okay, if neither of these are working, go directly to Plan C:
Be irresponsible. Yes, I’m not kidding. Go do something completely crazy right this minute! (Not anything illegal of course!) The last thing you want to do is land up in prison. Just forget what other people think, as the only fear you have is how you will be perceived by others, and does it really matter anyway?
Now go and do it!
PS~ I’m off to take my pet ladybug for a walk.
(See you on the flip side!)
As Alice in Wonderland said: “If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is because everything would be what it isn’t. And contrary-wise; what it is it wouldn’t be, and what it wouldn’t be, it would. You see?” ~ Lewis Carroll
My full name is Wendy Jane Whittingham. I am a professional artist and have been selling my work for quite some time.
I currently reside in a quiet, but artsy south-western town located on the shores of Lake Ontario.
Not only did I excel in the visual arts as a child, but I loved to play with words. I wrote hundreds of stories and poems as I grew up, and imagined many more inside my head, some of which are still floating around in there and dying to get out!
Most days I feel like one of the luckiest people around. I love the creative process and the flexibility it offers me on a day-to-day basis. Mucking about and getting my hands dirty is just half the fun!