Writer’s Imagination-The Good. The Bad.


Last week, email, Twitter and a few other places were buzzing bright and hot with all the raging fires of highly imaginative people receiving threaded updates from the publishing side of the biz.   Some authors fed the blaze with horror stories, some went quiet, others voiced worries aloud… and yes, there were a few standing ready with extinguishers.

I didn’t panic, but I did email my agent and tell her the fear was getting a little contagious. She reassured me that everything was fine, had a ready explanation, so I’m guessing quite a few writers were out there firing off questions.

And you know what?

I bet the professionals in the publishing side of things are used to this.  Agents and editors work with us.  Writers. Feeling brave?  Think about it.

Here we sit, hour upon hour, with our own imaginations as company.

(My husband has commented on the terrifying aspect of this before.  Okay, okay–often. <g>)

These imaginations of ours are great things.  We all enjoy the stories that sprout from them.  We can take a picture like the one above and come up with so many different stories.  We willingly open that door–some of us into the darker corners– and walk through.  I wouldn’t know how to live if I didn’t have this very vocal and time-stealing side of myself.  And if I didn’t feed all this creative energy into stories, I’d probably end up in a corner somewhere babbling incoherently.

But that imagination can be a double-edged sword.  When not basking in our created worlds, we’re still thinking.  The mind is still churning.  Mix that with the incredible amount of time we spend alone  and what do you get?

I won’t answer.  Your own imaginations can fill in the blanks.

Truth is, I will always write stories.  I always have.  Nothing will change that.  I’ve certainly worked hard to get to this point.  Had some wonderful success this year and sincerely hope to accomplish more.  And I didn’t reach this point on imagination alone.  Sitting down with my hands on a keyboard on a regular schedule and being willing to rewrite, polish, research– in other words, put in the time.

To do that, I had to learn to quiet that part of my mind that worries and obsesses.  Of course, it’s still there–I don’t know any writers who don’t worry and obsess occasionally.  But it has to be pushed aside.  Muzzle it ,or if your imagination takes you into the darker areas, quiet it in your own imaginative way.  (And oooh, if you come up with something cool, do share. <wg> )


Quick note:  Still waiting to hear from Brittnie.  I may end up having to draw another name from the MANY who entered the drawing for Rachel Vincent’s ARC of Pride, so you all stay tuned.  😉






Edit:  I’m also now using this old post to store images for my sidebar. 🙂


About Rinda Elliott

Writer.I love unusual stories and credit growing up in a family of curious life-lovers who moved all over the country. Books and movies full of fantasy, science fiction and romance kept us amused, especially in some of the stranger places. For years, I tried to separate my darker side with my humorous and romantic one. I published short fiction, but things really started happening when I gave in and mixed it up. When not lost in fiction, I love making wine, collecting music, gaming and spending time with my husband and two children. I’m represented by Miriam Kriss of the Irene Goodman Agency.
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4 Responses to Writer’s Imagination-The Good. The Bad.

  1. One of my favorite quotes, (not sure who I can attribute it to) is, “Worrying doesn’t empty tomorrow of it’s troubles, it empties today of it’s strength.”

    My mantra recently has been, “Don’t worry. Make art.”

  2. My imagination will get me with worries about 4am, then I can’t go back to sleep because I’m in a panic about something I later figure out I couldn’t have changed anyway.

  3. Laura says:

    Apparently, there’s similar anxiety going on in the film industry. Studios and funders are cutting projects they had previously signed on for, and a few independent distributors are going under, making harder for those unestablished in Hollywood to get their work out.

    It’s tough times. But – and I don’t mean for this to sound mean – I think hard times like this help weed out the casual “dabblers” that clog up the works for more dedicated folk. If we just persist, good things will happen eventually.

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