Your blanket was a cape. A stick was a sword. The table was your fortress.
Now, the blanket is just a blanket. The stick is thrown onto the roadside. And you write and write on the table.
Children say they want to grow up quickly. They want to experience our world of adulthood, but for us, it is the opposite. We want to go back to their world. A world where imagination is not bounded by reality.
Why does imagination get grounded as we age? Is it just reality reminding us of how cold this world can be? Perhaps it’s that we learn science, which inhibits us from imagining the answer to something we don’t know.
Maybe it is just that we have finally grown up. But have we?
We have books that tap into our inner child. Writers such as JK Rowling’s Harry Potter inspires children and adults a-like, despite being initially rejected as not being fit for children Roald Dahl’s wonderful world was written by the author in his most troubled-years as an adult. Jeff Kinney’s books were not published until 10 years after he had written them. The most wonderful stories we read aren’t written by children, but by adults, just like you and me.
So, the imagination is not lost after all. Don’t confine yourself to the limits of reality. Break beyond that. Challenge the things you see around you. Put colour into the most mundane objects. Bring out the five-year old in you that loved to tie on a cape, grab the sword, and march on to the castle to rescue your favourite teddy bear.
Adulthood doesn’t need to be just black and white. It can be just as colourful as a child’s world. We don’t lose our imagination. It is just hidden away, trying to survive the harsh reality of being an adult.
Tap into your childish ways and head down to our workshop “Writing for the Middle with Samantha Wheeler” on the 13th of April to learn more about how to write fiction suitable for young readers.