There’s a quote by Albert Einstein that I love: “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world and all there ever will be to know and understand.”
I think that’s why I write fantasy. It interesting – I don’t reach much fantasy, especially the well-known fantasy authors that are everyone’s favorites. I actually read mysteries. But when it comes to writing, I prefer to create worlds that do not exist and rules of my own for these creations. You hear people say “write what you know,” but I like to write what I imagine.
It’s interesting how imagination works. The simplest thing can inspire a thought – a song, a piece of art, a word – and from that, an idea is born. That idea then incubates and develops, growing into something that is almost a living, breathing creature. It becomes a part of us. I’ve never given birth, but I imagine writing to be much like the gestation and labor process. My friend Lauren, who has a two-year-old son and is also a writer, agrees.
I think what I love most about imagination is what we learn about ourselves. Carl Sagan said that “imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it, we go nowhere.” Through our imaginations, we are able to put our characters, hence ourselves, in situations that may be improbable or even impossible. Yet, through those situations, we are able ultimately to glean more about how our minds and hearts operate. We learn to know ourselves better.