In Others’ Words: Imagination

“Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.” ย ~Albert Einstein, physicist

A few months back, I was trying desperately to come up with a new story idea.

As the saying goes, I had nothing.

I played the writer’s “what if?” mind game while I drove around town. While I moved laundry from the washer to the dryer to the laundry basket. While I grocery shopped. While I loaded the dishwasher. While I exercised. While I showered. (Sorry, TMI.)

You get the idea.

Every idea seemed like a same-old-same-old idea.

And then I found a picture that my son, Josh, designed in high school. (See photo.) It’s 20 different interpretations of a key.

Twenty.

Talk about imagination!

Looking at my son’s creativity motivated me to not give up. If Josh could come up with 20 different perspectives of a common household object, surely I could think (and pray) my way to a new story idea.

And yes, yes I did.

My son’s artwork now hangs in my office to remind me that imagination is an amazing thing … and that I can be more creative than I ever realized.

 

In Your Words: If you had to choose, would you choose logic or imagination? And just for fun: What gets your creativity, your imagination, flowing?


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39 Comments

  1. April 4, 2012, 5:32 am   /  Reply

    I like logic and imagination, I think I have a good combination of both. Anything can get my creativity flowing, a song, a beautiful landscape, animals, my baby, even the news. Then there are times, nothing motivates me to write.

    Love the quote at the top!

    • Beth Vogt
      April 4, 2012, 6:47 am   /  Reply

      Music is a good imagination starter for me too. And quotes …
      ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. April 4, 2012, 6:15 am   /  Reply

    Imagination every time! Logic won’t keep you warm…well, it might if you had to figure out how to start a fire…but it’s imagination that would think of the fire in the first place. lol
    As for what sparks my imagination, almost anything, from news reports to seeing a swan dip it’s head in the lake.

    • Beth Vogt
      April 4, 2012, 6:48 am   /  Reply

      Love the way you think, Pat!
      ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. April 4, 2012, 6:39 am   /  Reply

    IMAGINATION! Little passionate about that one. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Your son’s work is inspiring. For some odd reason painting gets my mind going, being outside, exercise, rich conversations, and sometimes forgetting that I’m looking for a story at all is the best way to find one.
    ~ Wendy

  4. April 4, 2012, 7:01 am   /  Reply

    I’m kind of weird. I’m extremely logical (left-brained) with some stuff, but I love creativity (right-brained) too! And I agree with TC…music. And reading Scripture. So much beauty flowing from the words found there!

    • Beth Vogt
      April 4, 2012, 10:56 am   /  Reply

      I love looking at different versions/translations of Scripture, Lindsay. And also looking at the amplified version … it’s fun seeing all those words!

  5. April 4, 2012, 7:07 am   /  Reply

    I would choose imagination all the way. I love music. And nature. It feeds my creativity. Not necessarily the words to the song but the emotions of the tune. ๐Ÿ™‚ Happy Easter, Beth!

    • Beth Vogt
      April 4, 2012, 10:56 am   /  Reply

      He is Risen!
      And, yes, Jessica, sometimes just the melody of the music is enough to evoke a mood …

  6. Jeanne T
    April 4, 2012, 7:09 am   /  Reply

    I think I tend to be more logical, with doses of imagination thrown in. Lots of things fuel my creativity. Listening to sermons, things that I read, God’s creation, and yes, even the shower inspires creativity sometimes. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • April 4, 2012, 9:07 am   /  Reply

      This was my answer verbatim and I would have posted sooner had I known Jeanne was going to have the nerve to steal it.

      Sorry, kidding, my humor, like my imagination, can take frightening twists without warning.

      I really can say ditto to every single word, Jeanne. I often scribble notes during a sermon. For my characters. It’s fun how easy it is to get away with that, I even feel a little guilty that it’s not actual sermon notes. ๐Ÿ™‚ Seriously, I LOVE how God inspires the imagination through endless means, including his word.

      My next story-inspiring jaunt will be a trip along the breathtakingly beautiful McKenzie River in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. I have some vague story ideas, but it’s not gelling just yet. (I need to brainstorm! Talking things out seems to get my imagination going…) I knew I wanted to set it there, so I hope (& pray) the artistry of the Master will provide boundless inspiration. Because this is the logical thing to do. ๐Ÿ™‚ Lovely how logic & imagination work in sync. Or frightening, I suppose, depends on what it produces.

      (love ya, Jeanne – hope you don’t mind… ๐Ÿ™‚ )

      • Beth Vogt
        April 4, 2012, 11:01 am   /  Reply

        We are inspiring one another today, I see.
        ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • Jeanne T
        April 4, 2012, 2:27 pm   /  Reply

        Camille, I don’t mind at all. ๐Ÿ™‚ If it makes you feel better, one time my characters had a fight in the middle of our pastor’s sermon. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m just glad I’m not alone in this logic/imagination thing. ๐Ÿ™‚

        • Beth Vogt
          April 4, 2012, 8:44 pm   /  Reply

          ๐Ÿ™‚
          Love eavesdropping on this conversation.

    • Beth Vogt
      April 4, 2012, 10:57 am   /  Reply

      I’ve heard it said that writers often get great ideas in the shower. This is why I have an aquadoodle pad in my shower — a notepad that is waterproof!

  7. April 4, 2012, 7:12 am   /  Reply

    I love imagination, but sometimes from life experience I really, really cling to logic. The shower comment wasn’t TMI. As a mom of a toddler, most days that’s my only alone time and I ideas flow without distractions. Of course, I sometimes forget to wash my hair. ๐Ÿ™‚ Perhaps that’s TMI. (I like Josh’s art)

    • Beth Vogt
      April 4, 2012, 10:58 am   /  Reply

      LOL, Stacy! I’ve done that too — had to get back in the shower and finish what I started.
      Stay tuned, more of my son’s art may show up in future posts.

  8. April 4, 2012, 7:23 am   /  Reply

    Imagination! It’s just plain more fun.

    And yet, I’m a lot like Lindsay in that there are some parts of me that are so very left-brained…um, like how much I love organizing things.

    But here’s the thing – someone above mentioned music. There is a lot of logic to music, actually. Timing, beat, etc. It’s like the perfect mix of imagination and logic. That’s what storytelling comes down to for me. I’ve got to use a little logic when plotting…

    But yeah, if I had to choose…imagination. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Beth Vogt
      April 4, 2012, 10:59 am   /  Reply

      Excellent observation, Melissa.
      Hhhmm, I love organization but I am not good at it.
      My daughters are helping me, though.
      I am now mulling over a Writers Relief Effort … where we go around from writer to writer and help each other get organized!

  9. April 4, 2012, 7:31 am   /  Reply

    I also choose imagination every time. It adds lots of unexpected color and enjoyment to life’s journeys, sometimes taking us to the most unusual but delightful places . . .

    • Beth Vogt
      April 4, 2012, 11:00 am   /  Reply

      Ah, Dee, your theme is peeking through your comment.
      ๐Ÿ˜‰

  10. April 4, 2012, 8:19 am   /  Reply

    How neat that your son’s work inspires your own, Beth.

    What stirs my imagination? Walks. Classical music. Showers. (It’s amazing how many ideas flow when I stand under the spray. =)

    • April 4, 2012, 9:26 am   /  Reply

      Keli – me too. I think it’s the hot water so close to our brain.

      I hear someone has invented waterproof crayons just for writers to jot the stuff that comes while we shower. I’m buying this. I get something awesome & by the time I’m out, it’s gone. !

      • Beth Vogt
        April 4, 2012, 11:02 am   /  Reply

        Make sure you share the link, Camille.

    • Beth Vogt
      April 4, 2012, 11:00 am   /  Reply

      Walks do it for me to, Keli.
      Sometimes when all else fails, I walk out of the house and just walk and walk and walk … seeking relaxation and inspiration.

  11. Loree Huebner
    April 4, 2012, 9:24 am   /  Reply

    I keep my kids artwork around to inspire my imagination. Sometimes just the simplest origami flower will inspire a whole field of lilies.

    • Beth Vogt
      April 4, 2012, 11:02 am   /  Reply

      Ve-ery true, Loree.
      And origami is one of the most amazing art forms.

  12. April 4, 2012, 10:19 am   /  Reply

    Imagination! Imagination! That means our writer’s paintbrush never ceases to find new blends or strokes. Logic fits inside of what we already know. Where’s the stretch in that? ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Beth Vogt
      April 4, 2012, 11:03 am   /  Reply

      Well said, Donna. Well said.

  13. Megan DiMaria
    April 4, 2012, 12:56 pm   /  Reply

    What a great story!

    • Beth Vogt
      April 4, 2012, 8:42 pm   /  Reply

      ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. April 4, 2012, 1:24 pm   /  Reply

    Imagination! And I’m with you Beth as far as music and quotes. I also love great photos, crafts, books . . . etc!

    • Beth Vogt
      April 4, 2012, 8:43 pm   /  Reply

      Coleen,
      I’m impressed with people who can do crafts, as i am craft-challenged.

  15. April 4, 2012, 2:21 pm   /  Reply

    Your son is very creative! so glad you found your new story. I have been struggling with finding my imagination again and I can see how even looking at a picture like that would spark some ideas:)

    • Beth Vogt
      April 4, 2012, 8:44 pm   /  Reply

      Feel free to save the photo, Terri, if it stirs your creativity.

  16. Patti Mallett
    April 4, 2012, 2:48 pm   /  Reply

    Now that gives us something to think about, as well as feel encouraged!! Thanks, Beth!

    Plus, it’s fun to see how creativity runs in your family. Very cool picture!!!

    • Beth Vogt
      April 4, 2012, 8:45 pm   /  Reply

      I have no drawing skills at all. But several of my kiddos do, which is a lot of fun!

  17. April 4, 2012, 8:13 pm   /  Reply

    What an inspiring story–I’m sure your son is as proud of you as you are of him! I would say imagination, even though I’m very type-A, logic is sometimes too logical…aka “boring”! Most times, music gives me imagination and gets the sparks flying.

    • Beth Vogt
      April 4, 2012, 8:46 pm   /  Reply

      Another vote for music … and logic can be a lifesaver, Christi.

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