Saturday, August 11, 2012

The Keys of Writing Success -- Imagination

Hi folks, ready to unlock the door to writing success? I'm skipping the obvious keys like a good attitude, overflowing confidence, tenacious spirit, hard working, self-educating, a big time reader, loner ability, a happy reviser, works well with criticism, and a team builder.

I was chatting about my last dream with an acquaintance -- the one where I'm riding a metal wheeled bike in a velodrome in an Olympic-like setting -- in my dream my bike can also fly a bit. I'm trying to catch this serial killer who is not out to kill me but most possibly Lance Armstrong -- this time. The person looked at me and with all sincerity said, "Oh, I wish I had dreams like that."  My imagination is all slippy and flexible.  I've spent most of my life spending a little time dreaming awake and then putting that on the page. One fun perk is a very active dream life. Oh, yeah.

There is some stuff you can do to get your imagination flying. Active outsider art is one way. My mom and dad had a huge handle on how to foster the imagination. All the arts were encouraged at home but in very non-structured free formed ways. We didn't join a club to play ball or take classes to sew clothes. It was very much an outsider's art experience. Check out the American Visionary Art Museum for ideas. I really need to visit Baltimore some time. My friend and author Faith Pray is also very good with letting the art grow. Check out her Sacred Dirt blog.  And a last example, you can pretend to be some character and your friends do the same, and how much fun is that?  My friend and author Katherine Grace Bond occasionally puts on creative play classes for adults. Such play will add jazz to your writing. Add outsider art to your life.

You need to mix active stuff with some passive stuff. Go stare at some art - local gallery, museum, just hang out at any artist's studio, check out a movie or play or opera, go to a concert, whatev. I mean soak it in. I have fab memories of gathering with friends in front of laser light shows and just listening to the Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon.  They still do this in Houston at the science museum. I also like that Sketching Gallery at the Getty. I've been there with my family several times.  You can soak in some awesome inspiration anywhere with a  clear sky this weekend. We are in the middle of Perseid meteor shower. Take your favorite music and watch the biggest show on Earth.   (Hint the more senses you involve the better the imagination juice...)

So one big key to success is your BIG IMAGINATION.  Don't let anyone get your down because your head is often in the clouds and you play like a kid. Do not be moved by folks who tell you to be more serious.  See you next week with another key. :)

So here's the doodle: "Cup on post."

I am imagination. I can see what the eyes cannot see. I can hear what the ears cannot hear. I can feel what the heart cannot feel.  Peter Nivio Zarlenga


Vijaya said...

Amen! I don't know why it is that growing up makes us less imaginative (at least it did for me). Walking into Peggy's class that fall at Redmond High brought back some of that childhood imagination back ... Peggy sure knows how to bring that out.

MollyMom103 said...

Hi Vijaya, I miss Peggy so, especially those good times around her table sharing stories. It was just fantastic time! It makes me want to go dig out another marble.