For your Amusement, a comment I made on Terribleminds.com, wherein I invent the concept of Imagination Steroids and detail their advantages over the regular kind.
Original poster "Ed:"
Isn't a key component of writing imagination? You can read a whole variety of novels and types, but if your brain can’t create a world to place the story you are burning to write, you are pretty much stuffed.
Blog Host "Terribleminds:"
It is, indeed. Though that’s a bit separate from instinct, I think. One has to cultivate imagination too — perhaps the focus of a future post!
Me, Marc Cabot:
Imagination is something we are all born with. Period fucking dot. All children have it.
It’s just that a lot of them get it beaten out of them or fail to exercise it and they end up like Susan Pevensie from the Narnia books… “Oh, isn’t it funny you still remember those make-believe games we played as silly children now bugger off while I snort heroin off this fashion model’s ass and PRETEND I’M NOT ALREADY DEAD INSIDE."
And, granted, some people have more imagination or some natural gift for letting it flow easier that other people. And that’s fine. It’d be a funny old world if we were all alike, wouldn’t it?
But don’t ever think that a) you don’t have it or b) that you can’t make it stronger by exercising it.
And reading, widely, is like Imagination Steroids for writers.
You can mainline steroids but if you never get up off the couch you’ll still be a pile of blubber with a couch-shaped ass. And you can exercise without steroids and with hard work you can reach the peak of your body’s potential. But if you exercise AND take steroids you turn into Mark Fucking McGuire and you start hitting shit so hard it flies out of the park and DENTS THE HUBBLE TELESCOPE.
And the nice part is, Imagination Steroids are perfectly legal and you won’t have an asterisk next to your name on the bestseller lists for using them. SO GO GET SOME.