The Nudge: April 2016

Sometimes we need a little push to start, a tap on the shoulder to give us direction, a tingle of inspiration to excite our imagination, or a reminder of purpose to sustain us on our journey.
Sometimes we need a nudge.

The Nudge: April 2016

You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court
Mark Twain

Focus is often thought about in very pragmatic ways: in conjunction with details, as a necessity for productivity, and as a lauded quality of the organized. Imagination, however, is often considered a fluid, feisty entity that needs to be let out to play at times but must be shut in a drawer to actually complete anything. But this binary understanding leaves our work flat and possibly meaningless. By using our imaginations, our brains interpret shapes and colors into destinations, possessions, known comforts, or perceived threats (like a line of black dots on the horizon turning into an approaching army). Without focus, the imagination can lead us through endless distractions and daydreams, but if it is encouraged and employed, productivity sours, details become relevant, and organization is enriched with new possibility.

Lots of people (including myself!) talk about switching brains, turning off the creative writer to become the objective, focused editor, and of course, this is an understandable illustration of process. At the same time, it’s easy to go too far down that road. Imagination has a vital role in every step of the journey.

Advertisements

One thought on “The Nudge: April 2016

  1. “By using our imaginations, our brains interpret shapes and colors into destinations, possessions, known comforts, or perceived threats (like a line of black dots on the horizon turning into an approaching army).”
    Just today I found a copy of Beautiful Oops by Barney Saltzberg on my desk at the library. Encouraging kids to make something of the mistakes that might not turn out to be mistakes. I was thinking I need the adult equivalent that tells me writing “oops” might be OK. Then I saw your post and maybe what my mistakes need is a larger dose of imagination and my willingness to let them be something other than what I might have planned. Hmmm.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s