Your Imagination and You

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“When I’m writing the way I want, the way I love, which is without thinking about what I’m writing, a strange thing happens: I feel simultaneously the most myself I could possibly be, and at the same time language is totally relieved of self.”

—Kathryn Harrison
Light the Dark: Writers on Creativity, Inspiration, and the Artistic Process

Have you ever experienced moments when your writing flows and sentences build themselves and thoughts move so fast you can’t keep up with them and you let these thoughts transform into structured paragraphs and you realize you’ve let your imagination take charge and you slip into what seems like another place, a different place, where nothing stops you from creating what you have always known is inside you but which you have not heeded, until now?

What do you do? Do you put this place away and forget it because you fear its power—this writing inside a world that has opened up to you because you let your guard down? You try to dismiss it; you tell yourself you can’t play around anymore. It is an intrusion, a trickster messing with you. And yet . . . the veil falls away and you know you will call yourself writer.

What were you waiting for? The process is not a straight line. It doesn’t care about outward success, but it does care about your deep desire that builds over time and hungers for words and sentences, characters and stories, poetry and plays—this capacious imagination waiting inside you . . . waiting for the nourishment of your syntactical dreams so that your inner life can come alive, knowing you cannot live without it. So, you build this place where you can live.

You name yourself writer.

You listen carefully now. You are no longer afraid. You no longer fear this voice. You no longer deny the source of your longing, and you begin to write and you can’t stop writing in the years to come. You have waited for this moment. You speak to what is inside. Your active imagination has sprung free.

Often you listen to friends, family, and colleagues say they want to write but don’t know where to begin, their lives are mundane, what on earth would they write about, anyway? You tell them it’s inside, it’s not out there, open the door and free yourselves from years of enclosure.

You can’t be afraid, you say, to pierce the veil, restore yourself, and regenerate a lifeline to those ambitions of so many years ago. Build yourself a place inside this architecture of words and struggle when you have to because meaning is so hard to get to sometimes. But don’t stop no matter how difficult it becomes, because you and the imagination dance to the writing inside you, living at the edge of the universe, transcending time and space.

This is the cadence of joy.

About the Author

Sandra Fluck

Writer, poet, and educator, Sandra Fluck graduated from U.C.L.A. with a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts in English Literature. She also has a Master of Arts (Religion) from the Lancaster Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania. She has taught English Literature, Creative Writing, English Composition, and Technical Writing in colleges in California and Pennsylvania. Sandra is the creative force behind bookscover2cover and The Write Launch.

Read more work by Sandra Fluck.