Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Squeezing the Creative Juice

I was a highly imaginative child. My most often played games involved packing up changes of clothes for my favorite doll and running through the backyard to somewhere far far away where we would start new lives together. (How watching Sesame Street inspired these types of make-believe scenarios is a mystery, but there you go.) Later, I would read books and imagine myself as one of the characters, thereby necessitating the writing of alternative endings or sequels.

Some of my favourite writers are those who can continually create new worlds, because the very ability to do so is something that seems to disappear as we get older, the way seeing fairies and sprites as a youngster goes away when we immerse ourselves more and more in the "real" world. It amazes me how grown-ups can keep their imaginations so active, making up entire new existences, characters and events.

That said, I do believe real life is more interesting than fiction, particularly considering those whose lives inspire books and movies (though they are often highly embellished by the time they hit the big screen.) It was my own real-life events that had me writing in diaries over the years and starting this blog.

Still, I feel my imagination has been stifled as a result of over 3 decades of real life. Where it used to be as easy as breathing to write a completely fictitious story, I now find myself hard-pressed to make up an interesting enough bedtime tale for my young son.

Even harder is having to produce fiction for money. After nearly 2 years of not writing anything besides grocery lists and this blog, I suddenly had to come up with material for a press release on very short notice. Suddenly, crafting a unique spin on high end luxury products was more difficult than making up an imaginary world, plot and characters.

Deadline past, the material was submitted. Hopefully it passes muster as approval for publication means the first (albeit modest) bit of income I have brought to the table in over 18 months. In the meantime, I will lose myself in the worlds of Neil Gaiman and Enid Blyton in the vain hopes that my imagination starts to work again in time to make up decent stories for playtime when my son is old enough to appreciate them.

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