Summer is almost here. The daylight stretches further, and we are inclined to stay out later and enjoy balmy summer evenings. This is the time that many kids adore. A sense of freedom. A sense of wonder. Of possibility. This is the time when stories are born.
Writers have wonderful imaginations and can seem to create whole worlds from a vacuum. But imaginations are like gardens. We need to take care of them, give them the food and water they need to flower. We need to feed our imaginations ideas and inspirations from the books we read, shows we watch, experiences we enjoy. We need to hear other people’s stories, not just the ones written in books, but the ones told from friend to friend and generation to generation. We need to go out and live life. There are days I just go to Red Rock Books, my local bookstore, for a little artistic therapy. I don’t write anything while there. Nor do I read. But being around all those books and colorful people and things does my soul good. It reenergizes me. It feeds the garden of my imagination.
We, chained to our desks and computers and notebooks as we are, need to find time to get out and explore and experience and do fun things that have no connection to our work as writers. Go to the beach. A theme park. A play. A state fair. A music festival. A camping trip. Whatever feeds our souls and makes us happy. Because that is where the stories are born–the experiences and emotions that fuel us as human beings.
I’m giving you, oh dedicated wordsmith, permission to go out and just have some fun this summer, like a kid on his vacation, and refuel your imagination. Your garden of ideas will thank you and blossom into new and wonderful stories.