Is Imagination More Important Than Knowledge?

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Was Albert Einstein right when he said this?

I’m trying to distract myself from everything. Playing video games and spring-cleaning my flat seems to have done the trick today, but this evening I returned to writing and something a little bit strange happened. For the first time ever – and I’m honestly not even sure how or why this happened – I found myself starting not one, but five new short stories and then writing a little bit on each of them simultaneously by switching back and forth between them in sentences. Now, I’m pretty sure everything I’ve written tonight in each of them is going to be garbage and I’ll throw them out immediately, but it got me thinking: how important is it that we exercise our imagination?

On something of a tangent before I continue: Does anybody have words that they just always have trouble spelling? I mean, I can spell hippopotomonstrosesquipedalian just off of the top of my head, but I always have trouble spelling the word exercise. Weird, right? I usually go through a few iterations (excersise, exersise, excercise) before I finally land on the correct spelling. It irritates me every time. Anywho…

How important is it that we exercise our imagination? Is it kind of like looking after our bodies? Take it out for a quick spin every now and then and you’re sure to keep it in good shape? I’d like to think so. I mean, I still have a very overactive imagination and it’s usually things of the over-the-top action/sci-fi/adventure type stuff but I wonder (and worry) if my imagination is still as fresh and full of new and exciting ideas as it was when I was still hand-writing crap short-stories in primary school. I know that back then my writing skills would have been severely sub-standard (hell, they’re still not that great these days), but I know that I was full of ideas. I worry that these days I’ve tied my imagination up a bit and restricted it with a rope I like to call ‘trying to please everybody’.

If I have one particular flaw that I’m aware of, it’s this: I worry too much about what other people think. I even worry what people are going to think about these blog entries when I’m writing them, but I try to do very little post-published editing when I do an entry. That’s mostly because I want the words to come out as they form in my mind – it’s more real and more me that way. But I really don’t know if my flaw becomes a hindrance or a virtue when it’s related to my writing. Does worrying too much about your target audience help you define the boundaries of your novel, or does it place restrictions on you that needn’t be there? I guess these are things I’m learning as I go along.

I’m going to get back to writing now, but I just wanted to share this little brain-fart while it was happening. Once my thoughts are on the screen I can sort of swipe them away and get on with things. Now I’m going to take my imagination out for a little run and see if I can’t tighten up those calf muscles while I’m at it.

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4 comments on “Is Imagination More Important Than Knowledge?

  1. Kenneth Jobe says:

    You always hear the advice ‘write the stuff you’d want to read,’ but that seems a little off to me. You have to have a little consideration to the people who will eventually pay money to read it, don’t you? I don’t know, maybe the thinking is if you’ve been reading all your life you can trust your instincts.

    All I know is I’m incredibly needy when I publish blog posts, and I always wonder if anyone will like them.

    PS – across and embarrass. I always write accross and embarass.

    • I think getting the balance of writing what you want to read but also something you think will be universally liked it really hard. I try not to dwell too much on what other people want, but it is a flaw of mine!

      Thank you for reading 🙂

  2. jwethne says:

    Wow, that’s incredible. I could never write five stories simultaneously. I’m definitely a one at a time sort of person.

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