June 23, 2008

Cosmic landscape of the imagination

Oh cosmic landscape, where art thou!
Creativity is a subtle and magnificent dance between the rational and the intuitive, between the left and right parts of the brains, between technique and imagination. Both partners in this dance are absolutely necessary and needed in equal proportion, which means imagination is as important as technique, and vice-versa. If you live only in the imagination, you'll never get organized; you'll never complete your story. However, if you start from the rational, linear, organizational part of the process (e.g. must have the perfect opening sentence and first paragraph), you'll never fall into the rich, passionate, cosmic landscape of the imagination where anything is possible. - Emily Hanlon in her short piece, How to fall down the rabbit hole, in the Writer's Digest, December 2007 issue.
So, where are the the "Cheshire cats, the Mad Hatters, the Tweedledees and Tweedledums, mad queens, dragons, flying monkeys and monsters" lurking? And how do I tap into my "creative unconscious" - the place of "feelings, dreams, and images; the place of intuition and imagination" -- and experience writing as a "visceral experience," that it always is.

In the above piece, Emily Hanlon also writes: "It's in the process of writing that the writer experiences the deeper, life-enhancing journey of creativity." Reminds me of what a friend asked me last year (and I paraphrase): Do you like the idea of being a writer or do you like the process of writing? Because a lot of people want to be writers or are in love with the idea of being a writer but do they love the process of writing? That's something I am going to find out soon!

Emily Hanlon is also the author of a book on writing: The art of fiction writing, or, How to fall down the rabbit hole without really trying, which she appropriately starts with Einstein's famous quote: Imagination is more important than knowledge.

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