Responsible Imagination

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A creator’s world is about ideas. There are things we want to do, half-formed potentials, and wild dreams we lock down until they burst forth. Creativity is all about ideas.

At the same time, ideas torment us. We may have too many ideas to act on, while someone else has nothing that comes to them. Regret over undone projects bedevils us, while dissatisfaction over a poorly-handled creation sits darkly in our stomachs.

You may deal with these issues, and if you don’t, I’m sure you know some other creator who has.

One of the differences between an effective and ineffective creator is taking responsibility for their ideas. They build systems to stimulate creativity, channel it, and select what becomes what. By doing so, they’re able to get to the act of creating.

I don’t think this is discussed enough in creative circles, where imagination is often treated as a given or a fickle force. Perhaps we’re used to hearing the same complaints over and over again, and we miss there is a solution. The solution is developing a personal way to be responsible for ideas to deal with these general problems.

Maybe we need to focus on helping our fellow creatives take more responsibility for their imagination. There are plenty of books to start with – I know I wrote one – but people still need that personal touch. We can help other writers and artists to find their way.

Steven Savage