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A Writer’s Imagination by Amelie Rose


A Writer’s Imagination

`With rainbows in my pocket, sun in my smile, and wings to circumnavigate the universe, there is no limit to where my imagination can take me.’

Is this how you feel as a writer?

Imagine if you could soar and swoop around the universe, catching rainbows, beaming at the sun, dancing in the rain – isn’t this far more exciting than any roller coaster ride, or bungy jump, or whatever job you did before you became a writer?

Sure, you say, it’s what fiction writers and story tellers do, imagining their characters into all sorts of situations, times, places and building them a life around it.

Imagination is inherent in all of us – you, me, the girl on her pony, the boy in his sandpit, the neighbour next door, the bank manager, the shop owner, the dentist. But, for writers, it is something more – it’s a tool, a wonderful invisible tool that we manipulate like play dough, stretching and rolling, pulling and prodding, poking and squashing, until that magical moment when the final shape is suddenly revealed.
Imagination is key to the fictional stories we writers create. Without it our tales would lack life, be bland and dull. Certainly not very interesting.

New Writers

Most new writers begin with an advantage. They have not yet experienced rejection, or been disillusioned by harsh, sometimes unkind, critiques. For a time they may be lost in their stories, writing what they want, writing to please themselves, allowing their imagination full rein to soar and swoop without restrictive rules and guidelines.

It won’t stay that way of course, because every writer who is serious about their craft will be constantly reading other writers’ works, learning whatever they can from books and articles, usually written by experienced writers and teachers. Just like any other profession or hobby, being a successful writer means to be constantly learning, practising, researching and creating.

Fame and Fortune

Of course there will always be those writers who are catapulted to instant fame with their very first offering, bypassing the `apprenticeship’ of rejection and numerous rewrites. Established writers have all seen and heard of these and been momentarily demoralised at the newby’s luck.

And it’s particularly hard to swallow for a writer, who has just received their tenth, twentieth, or hundredth rejection and they come across an article about famous film star Poppy Petunia’s three-book, seven-figure deal for the novel she has skipped off in her spare time and which was accepted by the very first publisher she submitted it to. Or debut writer, Rosalie Rigmorton, whose attempt to find an agent is splashed all over the news when eight of the ten agents she approached all banged on her door, begging to represent her. Aaaargh!!!!!

Okay, that’s enough hair-pulling for now. Fortunately, writers are a generous lot and we love it when a fellow writer finds success. We know only too well how hard the majority have worked; the isolation, the fear when it seemed they would never be able to write another sentence, let alone finish a book.

But true career writers have something else that keeps them going – they are savvy. They know that anything worthwhile comes with a price, that being a writer means often long solitary hours away from people and distractions, sweating deadlines and spending hours and days and weeks on revision and rewrites.
The self-discipline to keep working when friends want you to go shopping with them or to the beach, a movie, a party, a holiday can be difficult to deal with. No-one enjoys saying `No’ all the time and nor do people like hearing it too often. But that is the life of a writer – good or bad, convenient or inconvenient – we chose it and, for the most part, we don’t complain, we just get on and work with our imagination, weaving tales of mystery, magic, romance, humour and a zillion other genres.

Without a good strong imagination, our words are less compelling, our settings, plot, and characters less convincing and, as individuals, less alive.

For the greater part, writers are dreamers which is why we choose to walk the imaginary highway of dreams, hope and aspiration. And when others retire from their day jobs, chances are we will still be writing because, for as long as our imagination lives, retirement is never an option.

That is a writer’s life, what we choose and what we love. We are unlikely to stop until we simply run out of words – or breath.

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