Imagine it and make it happen
Today’s quote about writing:
“All the things we achieve are things we have first imagined and then made happen.”
David Malouf, Australian writer
Imagination is a powerful, essential, elemental, almost organic tool of the writer. It is the driving force behind all writers, especially writers of fiction. Without our imagination our stories cannot take shape, the characters cannot come to life and the plot limps along until either the reader or the writer give it up as a hopeless cause.
But when the writer calls upon an active imagination, the story can soar to wonderful heights, the characters can develop vibrant, energetic lives and the plot grabs the attention of the writer demanding to be written. And when this happens the readers are carried along in that imaginary world of delights and the book cannot be put down. Hopefully it also sells many copies via word of mouth too.
But I wonder if David Malouf was actually thinking along these lines?
Was he instead thinking about dreams and goal setting? It doesn’t really matter for it doesn’t negate what I’ve already written. Dreaming big dreams and setting goals with our writing (and all other areas of life) can result in amazing outcomes. Without dreams and goals we tend to drift through life aimlessly.
Dream big – you might just surprise yourself.
I’ll give you a few examples:
- Imagine holding your first novel in your hands. Feel it, look at it, smell it.
- Dream about the day you sign a three book contract – and the satisfied feeling it engenders.
- Visualise walking across the stage to receive that literary prize.
- Plan and rehearse what you are going to say and do when you launch your first book.
On the last item my wife and I attended a friend’s book launch last year. My wife took detailed notes on what to do and how to run a launch – and she keeps reminding me of this. It spurs me on to get that manuscript finished and off to a publisher.
Make it happen.
I’ve always said that the professional duty of the writer is to imagine.
This can cause difficulty for writers who are in churches. They might imagine too much and make others uncomfortable. There are people out there who like their imaginations settled.
I note that your examples of dreaming big are about the identity of being a writer. I like to imagine the satisfaction of a single reader who has been willing to come on the journey of imagination with me.
Good points, Ken.
On the point about the satisfaction of a single reader, I could have quoted my supervising lecturer, mentor and good friend Rosanne Hawke who once said:
“Don’t be depressed by rejection: God gave you that story or poem or article so there is a reader out there – perhaps only one – and that person needs to read that story, poem or article.’
I take the same approach with this and my other blogs. My statistics show me that I have over a thousand readers daily in over 120 countries. While that is satisfying, I get far more satisfaction from those who make a comment or contact me via email expressing their thanks, appreciation or ask a question.