How’s your imagination? Everyone is creative and imaginative. However, writers tend to be more imaginative than most.
As we discussed in this article on creative strategy, anxiety is a normal part of the creative process. Unfortunately, your imaginative faculties may make your anxiety worse:
Here’s the thing about sudden unexplained anxiety: we tend to ascribe reasons to it to justify it to ourselves. Those reasons may be nonsense, but they persist. You tell yourself lies about your writing.
You can use your imagination to heal, as well as harm. Imagination is useful when you use it to help control your anxiety and write, rather than imagining worst-case scenarios.
Not imaginative? Writers who tell me that they have zero imagination will tell me—in their next breath—that they have a phobia about heights. Or that they love chocolate mud cake with ice cream.
What is your “imagination”?
Imagination is defined as:
(the ability to create) new ideas, or form mental images or concepts of external objects not present to the senses.
Everyone forms mental images in different ways. You may see an image in your mind’s eye; you may hear it; or you may feel it. The ability to form mental images is a huge part of creativity.
Einstein reportedly said:
“Imagination is more important than knowledge.”
Use your imagination to control stress and be more productive
If you often feel stressed, chances are that you have a great imagination. Your mental images are of disaster. This gives you a clue about the double-edged nature of your imaginative faculties.
They can be a wonderful tool to build your life, but they can be destructive, too. Use them in any way you choose.
For example, imagine yourself successfully and easily completing your daily task list before you get out of bed each morning.
During the day, before you begin a task, take 60 seconds to imagine the task as done.
If you work from home, and want to be more creative, take a little nap instead of drinking coffee mid-afternoon.
The most obvious benefit of napping is that it increases alertness and decreases fatigue. Even a short nap of around 20 minutes boosts your ability to concentrate by giving your brain a chance to restore depleted energy.
Boost your imagination for your writing: easy tips to try
- Daydream more. Sometimes writing involves staring into space, until your creativity ignites.
- Play “what if” when you write fiction: keep brainstorming “what if” alternatives until you have at least ten choices for plot scenarios, character development, scene elements etc.
- Read more. Your imagination needs creative fuel.
- Meditate daily; some forms of meditation can boost your creativity. Even a short five-minute session of meditation helps.
Creativity is essential for writers.
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Copywriter and marketing pro Angela Booth maintains a busy copywriting and ghostwriting practice. Fascinated by online marketing, she wrote one of the first business books for internet marketing, published by Allen & Unwin. She’s been an enthusiastic blogger since the late 1990s.