Completed my first in-class visit as an author. I was ridiculously nervous ~ to talk to a group of nine and ten year olds ~ but they were a most forgiving group and tolerated my nervousness beautifully. 😉 In fact, they seemed most interested in the model of The Viridian Isles rather than my very complex storyboard. Imagine that.
We talked about the short stories they are currently writing, and I was reminded of how creative and free the imagination of a child is. It was hard to keep up with the rollercoaster of their minds as they excitedly told me all about their Adventure and Fantasy stories. Yes, almost every child in the room chose Fantasy and Adventure as their books of choice. Guess I am writing in the right genre!
In Immanuel Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason, (which, like most people, I like to quote off the top of my head), he describes the imagination as a “blind but indispensable function of the soul, without which we should have no knowledge whatsoever, but of which we are scarcely ever conscious.” Pablo Picasso once said, “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”
When it comes to creativity in adults, our beliefs about it seem to change. Somehow, what is totally natural for children seems less natural when we’re adults. Why does our creativity diminish as we mature? Is it lack of practice or are we forced to turn our attention to logic, reason, and facts in school and the workplace, so we spend more of our time in reality and less in the world of imagination?
Unfortunately, studies have shown that we do lose some of our curiosity and whimsical imagination as we mature. Children’s natural inclination to daydream and wonder declines abruptly around fourth grade. So that would mean my creativity has been waning for almost forty years now, um, er… I mean twenty years now. 😉
Maybe we are just fearful of being wrong. Young kids don’t worry so much about whether they’re wrong. As we age we learn that being wrong comes with consequences and can be embarrassing. According to Sir Ken Robinson, an expert in creativity, “If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original.” http://sirkenrobinson.com/
I don’t know about you, but I am prepared to be wrong. I have three more books in The Viridian Chronicle Series to finish and I don’t plan to stop there. Let your imagination run wild, folks. I am off to Narnia.
“You have to live spherically – in many directions. Never lose your childish enthusiasm – and things will come your way.” ― Federico Fellini