Imagination is a Muscle

I’ve been saying this for years, but recently I’ve heard Neil Gaiman say it:

“The imagination is a muscle. If it is not exercised, it atrophies.” The more you use your imagination, the stronger your imagination becomes.

If you are a writer, especially a bizarro writer where strange imaginative ideas are the most important aspect of your work, make sure to daydream as much as possible. Daydreaming is the best way you can exercise your imagination. Do it as much as you can, in little spurts all day long. I’m sure most bizarro writers already daydream a lot. That’s probably why you started writing in the first place. But as you get older and become absorbed by the real world, your imagination is likely to suffer or you might feel like you’re running out of worthwhile ideas. Just take some time out every day to daydream. It might seem immature and a waste of time to other people, but it will actually exercise your brain and help you to become a better writer.

Many have said that some people are just natural born writers. They say these people have a certain spark that they were born with that just can’t be taught in schools. I disagree. I think that spark is just the writer’s imagination, which has been built up from years of daydreaming. If you are lacking in creativity all you have to do is daydream more and your imagination will build. Maybe even try playing with toys again. That’s what Ray Bradbury did.

Of course, another way is to just write a lot. Writing forces you to imagine and the more you write the more you will strengthen your imagination. Still, it’s good to train it as much as possible before putting into action, especially if you don’t write every single day.

3 Responses to “Imagination is a Muscle”

  1. I find dreaming in general very influential. Some days I just sleep in till 2 or 3 in the afternoon just to keep myself dreaming. Sometimes I feel I wasted a day, but I LOVE dreaming.

  2. carltonmellick Says:

    REM sleep is supposed to enhance your creativity, so I think dreaming will exercise your imagination as well. Lucid dreaming probably more so. But besides helping creativity, dreams can be inspiring.

  3. chris benton Says:

    I’ll try to keep this short. This is in response to your past three posts. Very blunt, erudite shit I must say. Your championing of marathon writing and your theory of betting bacon is refreshing. One must remember that the so-called giants of literature were marathon writers. Dostoyevsky wrote his great novels in monthly installments to pay off his gambling debts. Sometimes, certain specie of desperation smuggles quality into the quantity as well. As for day-dreaming, I argue with my lover frequently about me staring off into space for some seriously heavy time-blocks. I still give her the same frustrating answer: “I’m working”

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