Tuesday, October 18, 2016

How to enter

“Imagination is the highest form of research.” 

― Albert Einstein

The problem with high stakes is that they keep me too firmly wedded to the idea of objective truth. They hamper my willingness to take liberties with what is known, to weigh in imagination what is yet unspoken and unseen—it, too, might be true. 

I was the kid who, while in school, always did better on a test if I studied less. Because then I could allow imagination to fill in the gaps in what I knew, and the result was always more inspired that the painstaking regurgitation of conventional wisdom or passively received truth.

As I sit here, trying to find the first good sentence that will help me enter this feels-like-high-stakes project, I need to remember that nothing flows without play. I need to give myself permission to make up the truth, to imagine it anew, even in the face of grim facts, I need to mentally play. 


  1. You've just given me a whole lot to think about. Thank you.
    Now. Go play. Mentally and otherwise.
    Sometimes I think we should all have a swing. Remember how beautifully freeing it was to pump our legs and almost fly up into the sky? The rush as we fell back towards earth, the way it felt to go back up again?

  2. Yes, this is a very useful reminder.

  3. I love the times you give us a glimpse of how you approach your work. And your new header picture is beautiful.

  4. Oh yes, you expressed it so clearly. Sometimes, when a manuscript with all its complicated terminology waits for me, I feel soooo small and ignorant, intimidated even, until I let it flow, just let it take over.
    But from now on, I will refer to it as "play". Thanks. You are the pro.

  5. I needed to hear that right now. Working on a blog post that I just won't get started on.

  6. That's a really good way to put it -- allowing imagination to fill the gaps and "play." I usually don't have too much trouble starting a writing project. My rule has always been to just start. Type SOMETHING. Let it begin to take shape, and then go back and rewrite what needs to be recast as the project progresses.

    But then, you've been writing books, which are much bigger projects than anything I ever undertook!

  7. I hope you found your way to taking those liberties today. We scare ourselves with our perfectionism. I like the way you're playful even in the way you talk about choosing to play.