Imagination is important to human development. Especially if you're a writer.
My world came crashing down when I found out that some people didn’t have the level of imagination I did. Don’t get me wrong, I know that everyone can imagine things. Imagination is like any skill in this world, some people are more gifted than others. For example, I will never be as gifted in basketball as Michael Jordan. I will never be as gifted at swimming as Michael Phelps. I will never be as gifted in acting as Meryl Streep. But I have been gifted with a robust, active imagination.
Imagination is something I could never imagine not having. I love to imagine places that don’t exist, creatures that I’ve never seen before, or even people with superpowers that can save planets. It’s one reason I love children. Even children who don’t have an overactive imagination have an imagination. But sometimes life steals this wonderful skill.
As we age, we have to pay bills, work to live or sometimes live to work. Either way, adult life is not conducive to imagination. Stresses from our everyday life eat away at our imagination and yes, we lose what we don’t use.
This is where I found myself after I lost my job in 2014. I’d worked as an office manager for a few years. I didn’t hate the job, but it wasn’t the most rewarding position, either. So when the company closed, a part of me was relieved. I ended up taking care of my dying grandmother with nothing else to do but explore my imagination. It wasn’t too long after this that I wrote the first scenes of The Progenitor Chronicles.
What is imagination?
Merriam Webster defines imagination as:
1) The act of power of forming a mental image of something not present to the senses or never before wholly perceived in reality.
2) Creative ability.
3) A creation of the mind
Now think of that definition, while considering the organ we call the brain.
According to Hopkins Medicine, our brains are about 60% fat. The remaining 40% is a combination of water, protein, carbohydrates, and salts. The structure is mostly gray and white matter that allows neurons and glial cells to send chemical and electrical impulses throughout our mind and body.
While our brains keep our body working, dealing with physical and emotional distresses, it can also create imaginative worlds for us to enjoy. It’s mind boggling to me that simple carbon atoms can weave together in a way that allows us to have this ability. If you think about it, diamonds are carbon atoms too, but they don’t have our capabilities.
Why is Imagination Important?
Our miraculous ability to imagine the past, present, and future plays a role in our mental health. Humans can use their imaginations to explore the issues that are bothering us. We can create scenarios in our minds to help us cope with problems at work. Knowledge we get through reading can help us understand the world.
This is the reason I love the quote from Albert Einstein:
“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”
Without imagination, we lose a part of ourselves and the ability to explore our thoughts and feelings. Imagination helps us problem-solve and create new ideas. This wonderful ability ignites our passion and improves our cognitive skills.
Why do books help imagination?
Because everyday stress can erode the imaginative portions of our brain, I think it’s important to feed and fuel it every day. For that reason, I encourage everyone to read fiction books. If you’re here on this website, you probably don’t have that problem. But for your parents, friends, and children, encourage them to read something new.
Our superpower as humans is our imagination. By allowing our minds to play through reading, we gain that part of human existence that leaves us as we age. In order to trigger our imaginations, we need to work on something that is new.
Cultivating your imagination can actually improve your mood and reduce the likelihood of certain diseases like dementia. At least that was the recent study I’ve read. I know one thing: reading books can never actually hurt, unless you get a paper cut.
How do you trigger your imagination?
Here are a few things I do to activate my imagination.
Imagine a world I would like to live in.
Read sci-fi and fantasy books.
Visualize scenarios in my mind.
Exercise by choreographing dances in my house
Play made up stories in my mind at bedtime.
Some of these may or may not work for you. But try triggering your imagination with different ideas and let me know what you come up with. I’m always looking for new, creative ideas.
To be a creative person, we need our imagination. It’s our greatest tool. More importantly, imagination is our superpower. Which is why I love this ability so much.
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Sara Wright is a science fantasy author who loves to add dash of sweet romance to her books.
The Progenitor by Sara Wright
Peace was all Xendara desired, but her enemies hunger for her power. Princess Xendara is the heir to the throne, but her life is turned upside-down when a mysterious spaceship attacks. She learns her father had secrets. With his untimely demise, she must uncover them before her enemies remove her from power. In her quest to keep peace within the Six Systems, she discovers a power she didn’t know she had; a power that everyone is looking to exploit. With the help of her childhood friend Darijus, she unlocks long lost memories of her past, only to find his destiny is intertwined with her own. A prophecy guides her choices to the correct timeline. But can she trust a prophecy that foretells the death of a loved one? With the destiny of the Universe on the line, who she chooses to trust will divide a galaxy.
With powers her enemies aim to exploit, will she risk galactic war?
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Time Crystal by Sara Wright
The Progenitor Chronicles
Time Crystals are forbidden for a reason, but King Oren must use one to save a civilization.
King Oren’s only goal was to be a peaceful caretaker of the galaxy. But when a girl falls through a portal into his courtyard clutching a forbidden Time Crystal, his life changes.
With a cataclysmic event imminent, he must lead a group from his home system to the opposite side of the galaxy. Everyone looks to their seemingly immortal race for aid, but even with their elemental powers, they are far from perfect.
Armed with the Time Crystal, they seek to stop an exploding star from decimating an entire population. The problem is, he doesn’t know how to use the crystal. Even worse, he might die trying.
Will King Oren stop the star from exploding? Or will time unravel?
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