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Thursday 17 August 2023

Tell Us About...Imagination

 Image by pexels-ena-marinkovic showing a typewriter, a camera and flowers

Dear friends.  It's time for this month's Tell Us About challenge, and this time it was set by Suzy from The Grey Brunette. Imagination is the topic. 

When I was a child I was very imaginative. From a very young age I was writing stories and creating plays and comics. But over time, I fear I am less imaginative. It seems as if the left hand side of my brain has taken over, and while I'll never be able to master a spreadsheet  (and thankfully don't need to now!) I've become too organized and analytical to let my mind wander.

Is it, I wondered, another thing that happens as we get older?  Most of the research suggests this is the case, although we can re-ignite our imagination if we give ourselves the chance. 

So it was quite a surprise when I came across some recent research from the University of Kent. It revealed that contrary to popular opinion, the adult imagination is not only as vivid as that of a child but becomes more active with age.

The research, commissioned by English Heritage,  asked over 470 people aged between 4 and 81 to  imagine how unfamiliar historical objects could have been used. The answers were evaluated for several different criteria. 

Dr Angela Nyhout, Assistant Professor at Kent’s School of Psychology, led the team that conducted the research. She  said: "These new findings dispel the commonly held belief that humans lose their imaginations as they age. Instead, it shows that our imaginations continue to grow and change, even throughout adulthood, with the over 60s actually showing the most originality."

But aside from the University of Kent's research, most articles seem to agree that we do become less imaginative as we get older, purely because we lose that childish sense of wonder. 

I stumbled across a blog which reinforced my view that the left hand side of the brain takes over. The writer says: "By overusing our left brain hemisphere we can override our ability to think openly and see a blank canvas. We can end up struggling with the ability to problem solve, have confidence in new ideas, dream, or have a strong sense of self."   (source: Tanya Meryl Wigley, At What Age does Imagination Stop?). 

Why Can't I Write That Book?

One of the things that frustrates me the most is that writing, the thing that gave me most pleasure and led to my becoming a journalist, is no longer a friend. One of the tutors we had as trainee journalists told us that "every journalist should write a bloody book," as if it was the easiest thing in the world. Indeed, some of my former colleagues have.  

I thought I would find it easy to write a book, a work of fiction. But my writing seems leaden, it does not sparkle, and I run out of ideas. I'm afraid that if I try to write a book it will not be very good. It won't be literary. I read the likes of Ian McEwan and gnash my teeth. If only I could write like that. 

As Tanya Wigley said, I need to stifle the left hand side of the brain and maybe the creative muse will return. How do you do that? 

I've seen lots of posts giving tips but the thing I'd most like to do is go away, on my own, staying in a rented cottage. I'd take a notepad and computer. 

I've visions of going somewhere like Dungeness,  which is a bit bleak and windswept,  and going on rains soaked walls. Perhaps there I could re-ignite my imagination.  

How Did My Friends Tackle Imagination? 

From some of the summaries I've seen from the other girls, I think there will be a few more tips for me. 

Suzy from The Grey Brunette, whose challenge this is, is a published author (gnash, gnash). Her post on Imagination spills the beans on her lifelong love affair with books and the wild scenarios she dreams up – from sharks in puddles to kites morphing into dragons. Get ready for a fun-filled journey through Suzy's creative world, where even everyday objects become magical with a little help from tools like Leonardo AI!

Mary Katherine from MK's Adventures has been thinking of two summer creatures that inspired her imagination from childhood to now!  Check out her post to see what they are. 

Australian blogger Sue from Women Living Well After 50 asks if you have ever wondered what makes some people more successful, happier, and fulfilled than others? What is the secret ingredient that allows them to achieve their goals, overcome their challenges, and live their dreams? She finds answers to these questions and discovers that Imagination is a key to living well after 50.

Fellow Australian Debbie from Deb's World has a vivid imagination which can work for and against her at times.  In this post she looks at the role of imagination in everyday life and how we can nurture our imagination to enhance our lives. 

US blogger Marsha from Marsha in the Middle thought she’d go in one direction, and then she took a completely different road!  Come along as she searches for her imagination!

Texan blogger Leslie from Once Upon a Time and Happily Ever After admits she's really having to use her imagination to talk about August's Tell Us About theme...Imagination!  

Finally Penny from Frugal Fashion Shopper was feeling like Leslie. She wondered if she had any imagination but yes, she could ….. imagine….. 

Where are you on the topic?  Do you consider yourself imaginative?  Does playing with children keep you creative?  Do you feel like me that imagination is somehow out of your grasp?  Do share in the comments. 

Sharing this post with: #AnythingGoes at My Random Musings, Hello Monday at Sunshine and Books, Rena at Fine WhateverTalent Sharing Tuesdays at Scribbling Boomer#SpreadTheKindness  and #Linkup on the Edge at Shelbee on the Edge,  #Neverendingstyle at The Grey BrunetteTraffic Jam Weekend at Marsha in the Middle Senior Salon Pitstop at Esme Salon Crafty Creators at Life as a Leo Wife


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1 comment

  1. The power of imagination is amazing. As a creative person, I have a wild imagination. As does my toddler. I try and enter her innocent world & be as silly & imaginative as I can. As much as I can!


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