As an author and writer, I use a lot of imagination. It’s just an occupational hazard – you need it to create new spins on stories we all know and weave different ideas together. Imagination is one of the core pillars of creativity (at least if you ask me).
But until I was four, I didn’t know what imagination was. Looking back, it’s kind of funny to think – had I not learned about imagination then, would the steps in my life still happen to this point where I write and publish books on a regular basis?
I don’t know. But I’m always fascinated about how our lives could have turned out to be completely different if not for one moment in time.
My introduction to imagination happened at Disney World. It was April 1998, right before my brother’s second birthday. I was four, so memories are fuzzy, but in the few days we were at Disney World in Florida, there’s one moment I remember in particular.
After we went to Epcot and I was obsessed with imagination. I don’t even remember the part where I went to Epcot and learned about it, but I remember after, sitting at a bench with my parents while we ate a snack (popcorn if I remember) going on and on about this weird imagination thing.
Just that one moment at Disney World, but that moment I don’t even really remember gave me one of my most important tools and powers.
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Without imagination, I wouldn’t have written a story about a teenage assassin when I was 14 (yes, originally Cassie was the assassin. She did not start out as an FBI agent). Without it, I would have never found inkpop, become a top pick, or met half of my friends.
For a long time, I struggled with this idea that because I didn’t draw or paint, I wasn’t creative, I wasn’t an artist. I was just a girl with a ridiculously overactive imagination. In those moments when I struggled with creativity and the word “art,” my imagination is what pushed me through.
Imagination isn’t just some abstract thing at this point in my life, it’s what keeps me going. In fact, sometimes imagination takes me a little too far and my brain goes into overdrive. In someways, 2019 has been about learning when to let the imagination run loose and when to shut it up (like on date night).
Without imagination, I can’t imagine (no pun intended?) what my life would be like. Without it, my life would definitely be much more boring.