Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Keys to Imagination

Recently I watched a movie that was quite faithful to the book as I remember it when reading it. This is unusual. Have you noticed that from your own experience?

The intersection of movies we have watched and books we have read is quite disappointing. Times when I have seen a movie based on a book that I particularly liked, I most often regretted seeing the movie. Why is this?

One explanation is simple. Writers use a careful construction of words to create images in the mind. It is that interaction between the words that the writer has chosen and the engagement of the reader's imagination that lets a person create images in their mind that enables them to see, hear, smell, taste and feel the story. In other words, it is a way of knowing.

What happens in the making of a movie? Actors love to improvise and add their own touches to characters. Directors look for ways to make things visually appealing. The selection of a composer makes a difference in a movie as well. And, of course, there is the script writer, whose job is more attuned to dialogue than description. So by simply doing what they do best, they may take a different approach to making a movie than the author did writing the book.

When I used to teach writer's workshops an exercise that we commonly used in getting their creative juices flowing and getting them started writing,was to get them to close their eyes and we would do a visualization exercise. Then I would ask them to start telling their visions out loud. After hearing them tell their stories, I had them start to write them down while they were still fresh in their minds.

Often, self help books advise  the reader to visualize the results they want as the first step toward setting the vibrations in motion to achieve their goals.

Visualizing is just another word for something we have all been familiar with since childhood. We called it imagination. No doubt teachers still talk to children about using their imagination.

They really are just two different words for the same thing. The power to make pictures in our mind is something that we do so commonly and frequently that we do not even think of it as a special thing.

Think about it. Artists, inventors, writers, musicians, chefs, builders, designers, architects, engineers, marketing experts, all kinds of people in all kinds of work must use their imagination first before they begin to make something out of the physical materials.

Imagination is a prime tool for helping us to know things, to picture ourselves in the shoes of another person, or to sense what our life will be like when it changes. Imagination is creativity, passion, enlightenment, vision and inspiration.

Our imaginations are powerful tools. If it helps you to go back to using this familiar term from childhood, by all means use it.

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