Where do you get your ideas?
Often when we concentrate on a task like writing, we forget to breathe fully. Without enough oxygen to feed our brain, we tire easily. If we ride each breath into the next thought, our energy will be sustained.
|Have pen and paper ready for when you start to write. Relax completely, maintaining a good posture to let the energy enter your brain. Feel a gentle breeze all around you. Feel that breeze as if it were the colour blue. Imagine yourself surrounded in blue. Breathe in blue and breathe out blue. You are completely private now, about to enter the world of your own Imagination, the source of your creativity.|
|Imagine yourself in a blue balloon. With every breath you breathe out, blow out blue as if you were blowing up a balloon. With each breath, fill the balloon around you. You find yourself inside the balloon ascending through space, floating free. You are completely relaxed and yet more alert than usual. Notice how sharp your senses are. You feel the breeze on your face and the sun on your face. You can hear the wind rippling the balloon. Inside this balloon, you can travel through time and space.|
|You might visit a lost city, the zoo, the Amazon, the jungle, Venus or the moon. You might land in another time, another dimension entirely, a world of anti-matter perhaps. This time we are going to land at the place of ... You fill in the blank, either by consciously choosing where you want to visit or by allowing your Imagination to come up with a place to surprise you. As I say these words, the place ... suddenly emerges from under a cloud far below. What does it look like from this perspective? Imagine it from above. What do you experience that is new?|
|You find ... looming larger and larger as you come closer. How would you write down your experience? How do you see differently? Then let your perspective shift. What drama enacts itself? Notice how easily and instantaneously you can shift perspectives. Try several different perspectives, close-up, sideways, partial views. See if you can experience them all at once. Write down your new story. Let yourself experience as many different parts of your story as you wish to. Experience your story from many different points of view.|
|Now step back a few feet. Suddenly you realize you can experience it from all your different perspectives at once, in a new harmony. From so many different stories, a new story appears that contains them all. What do you feel as you experience the new story? Let it tell itself in a form that is original, express every nuance exactly.|
|Let your consciousness merge into ... Become it. What does it feel like? Speak from its point of view. What age are you? You have your present vocabulary and language ability. You are receiving a message you have not been aware of before. Maybe ... wants to tell you a part of its history--something wonderful that happened there or something unusual or dreadful. Allow whatever comes up to roll by your Imagination as if on film. Your work is to let it happen without interference, without trying to direct the action.|
|Once aloft, off on an adventure and on your own, the blue balloon transports you anywhere you want and imagine in time and space. That includes all of geography and all of history.|
|Once arrived at and immersed in your destination, you let the story of that place tell itself. Write and write that story down without pausing. Here it is crucial to focus on making the effort just to write it out. Do not stop to fuss over spelling, grammar, syntax or any other editorial considerations. Leave these for the editor in the next stage.|
|The dragon is mythologically the beast that guards the doorway to the imagination. The dragon defends the treasure of that realm. Once the students were familiar with this mythical creature, I invited them to enter into the realm of poetry with the dragon as guide:|
|So we meet the dragon at the doorway to the Imagination. What kind of creature is it? What does it look like? What colour? What sound is it making? Notice that you can understand whatever the dragon tells you. Pay close attention; this creature represents the voice of your own creativity. Do you hear its words in your head? Or do you get a felt sense of what it is trying to say?|
|Let this mythical being be your guide to the world of poetry. It guards the word-hoard, the treasure of the kingdom of the imagination, and it is willing to lead you to that treasure. How do you get there? Will it allow you to fly on its back?|
|Imagine yourself at the treasure the dragon has been guarding. You notice the treasure is words. Not just ordinary words. These words sound exactly like what they mean. They are the basic tools of your poem. You might hear these special words as a rumbling, a buzz in your ear. You might get a sense of what the words mean. Or you might see the words themselves. Allow the dragon to present a book to you. Open the book and read the name of the author: yourself! Read the poem that is written in your book and write it down.|
|The secret to this kind of writing is in allowing yourself to be surprised by the adventure that unfolds in your mind. You may always return for inspiration to this realm of the imagination.|
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