Do you remember what it was like to be a little kid? The hours spent outside making forts, putting on skits, creating new clubs, making daisy chains and laying in the grass watching clouds?
One of my favorite memories is when my friends and I had watched the super-awesome 1986 movie “Space Camp” and we spent the rest of the day sitting on folding chairs on the back porch with our feet in the air, pretending to take off into space.
Being a writer is a little bit like being a child, isn’t it? We get the extreme pleasure of making up people, dropping them into a world of our own creation, creating as much havoc for them as possible, and then giving them a happy ending.
I’m a strongly visual person. Therefore, when I write, I “watch the movie” in my head. Closing my eyes, I crawl into my scenes; imagining not only how things look to my character, but what smells they experience, how things taste, what sounds they can hear, and how meaningful objects feel against their skin.
Lately, I’ve been a little “stuck”. I know exactly where my story is going. I’ve planned out each scene and know how they all culminate through the final act. But things have been kind of crazy around my house; between homeschool, piano lessons, art classes, spring cleaning, carpet-destroying-floods, and just, you know—life. And through it all, I have not been taking time out for my imagination.
No wonder my word count has been sluggish. I need quiet time to play with my characters, to step inside their worlds and discover nuances that only a mile in their shoes (or sandals, since my stories are Biblical Fiction) can reveal.
Part of this process is labeling ourselves as we are: Writers. Once we accept our calling to create story, we can accept that part of fulfilling that calling is delving deep into our God-given imaginations—without feeling guilty. We have the privilege of creating something new, with the One who invented imagination!
So, take time out to daydream. Put aside the laptop and watch your characters move through their scenes without worrying about word-count, or take a cue from when you were a child; go lay in the grass and watch the clouds, or get some markers and doodle. Your imaginary friends—I mean, characters—will thank you for it!
Connilyn Cossette has a passion for writing stories of timeless grace that draw readers into a personal encounter with the rich ancient world of the Bible, and its Author. Her debut novel, Counted with the Stars, will be released with Bethany House Publishers in Spring of 2016. Connect with her at www.connilyncossette.com.