One of the questions I’m often asked when visiting schools is ‘why I like writing so much’. Well, writing gives me a chance to inhabit my imagination. What’s so good about that? Think of a world where you get to make all the rules. Everything that happens does because you make it so. Need an example?
About a year ago the Little Monkey, now 5, decided she wanted a baby sister or brother. When it became clear her parents weren’t going to fold on this particular demand, she created her own junior sibling. A baby doll became Annabelle, her infant sister.
Annabelle was treated as a normal baby insofar as eating, sleeping, dressing, car travel and other activities went. Just what I needed – a 4 yo telling me her baby sister wasn’t properly restrained in the car seat. Anyway, I played along… until I was informed I had to take Annabelle to creche.
Toys were not supposed to go to creche but that wasn’t a problem as far as the Little Monkey was concerned. In Daughter #1’s eyes, Daughter #2 (Annabelle) wasn’t a toy but a human. Indeed, Daughter #1 had already packed a backpack for Annabelle with spare nappies, clothes, bottle and so on. As far as she was concerned, Annabelle would be treated just the same as she was.
I needed to find an out clause.
I entered the imaginary world, placed my wrist to Annabelle’s forehead and said, “Oh, no Annabelle has a temperature! She’s not allowed to go to creche with a temperature in case all the other babies get sick.”
Then Daughter #1 volleyed with, “She’s only a little bit sick. She’s OK to go to childcare.”
So I persisted with the illness angle, saying it would be better if Annabelle came to the office with me. Daughter #1 insisted that they had medicine at creche and Annabelle would be fine.
It was time to assert myself. End the debate.
“Sorry, Annabelle is way too sick to go to creche. She’ll have to come to the office with me.”
To which Daughter #1 stomped her foot, burst into tears and said: “But Daddy, you’re just pretending she’s sick!”
That’s the magic of imagination. You can choose what to believe and what to overlook. The universe is yours to manipulate.
When you write, you take a snapshot of that universe and describe it so others can share the vision.