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Dream On!

Author: Author unknown, Issue: August 1996, Topic: ?

Have you ever said to yourself, "I would like to write something but I just don't have any good ideas?" Many of us who are experience writers find at some point that we are completely drained of original ideas and we think that everything we write down lacks inspiration and vitality. The sources of writers cramp are many but perhaps one of the most pervasive sources is work itself. This is where it would seem that being too adult, is probably hazardous to your health. Indeed, if you don't have any ideas, something may be seriously wrong.

In our societies, we often put great emphasis on the importance of work and success in climbing the corporate ladder. As youngsters, we are often pressed to put learning and adult concerns ahead of the "useless" daydreaming. Yet, we may be neglecting a vital resource within ourselves.

All of the necessary skills of imagination and creativity exist in full splendor within most children. Yet by the time they reach the age of 16, they have already lost a major percentage of that skill in favor of the more "practical" skills. If these skills were not important, then why do we possess them at all. (Note that I refer to them as "skills".) Fish need gills to survive in water, human beings need daydreaming to survive in the daily world.

Maybe the actual reason for this over emphasis on so-called "adult skills" is founded in the idea that nobody can quantify the importance of daydreaming in the adult life, and so we justify our own self deception by a collecting "symbols" which can substitute for real tangible elements of our inner selves; such as small pieces of paper noting achievements in institutions which are believed to have the answer (whatever that is), or, becoming an essential person in an organization or company, or perhaps worse, acquiring many possessions thinking that these will substitute for what we really need.

However, the foundations of your inner self are more centered in those "childish things" that we often discard as useless or immature. Naturally, the practical skills are essential to survival in the adult world, but not at the expense of skills which build your inner souls. When there is no imagination, there is no hope. When writing is a job, instead of a refreshing source of entertainment, it is time to ask oneself why. Writing is self expression, it is part of being a human being living in the world with other social beings.

Nevertheless, there is hope. The first step to break a serious spell of writer's cramp is to start writing. One of the best ways to break free of writer's block is to keep a journal. Write a paragraph or two about your real feelings into this private journal every day and soon you will begin to draw out your foundations again. It may be very difficult at first, but expressing yourself is probably the most essential step you can make toward discovering what it is to be alive.

Submitted by a writer from the Writer's Underground Forum.

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