Imagination is underrated

Imagination is underrated

Imagination is underrated

Sometimes my best ideas come to me while I’m riding my bike, like this story idea for example, popped into my mind as I was coasting down this long hill, down one of my favorite tree-lined residential streets, in a quiet neighborhood of Sao Paulo with big expensive homes on large lots, protected by walls, cameras and security systems, behind steel doors and locks. I imagine myself to be more free, gliding along the road, than many of the people living in the proverbial “Park Place” behind the walls because I know how to let the fertile imagination run wild.

My creative process has been developed over time and through practice. Since my skill-set is about web publishing and curating digital media, I’ve found ways to exploit my own mental energy, by using systems that evolve around the written word. Plus, by adopting the best practices of successful bloggers and writers, you first create a framework to develop your ideas. In my case that framework starts with a small notepad, in which I’ve listed the Silicon Palms (my blog) editorial calendar topic headings. These coincide with my site categories too, so the site has structure. My ideas are prompted to fit that framework as I discover the article titles. Now, I keep an entire list of topics that I’d like to share my thoughts about, as well as learn more about.

Everyday I update my Evernote journal and add more words to my ideas, and constantly capturing creative commons digital media that improves the presentation of my ideas. The layout and design of an article is just as interesting and appealing (to me), in some cases, as the material contained within. It’s enormously satisfying to give birth to a new webpage, which has been thoughtfully constructed to provide value to the reader. Most of my articles start-out as a “title” written by pen in my little pocket Moleskine (paper) notebook, since my own content management system relies heavily on ink and paper. Everyday I add idea topics and write down names of people and places to look-up when I get back to my computer.

One thing that I’ve learned from using an editorial calendar, along with the Evernote journal and content curation system; is that it get’s easier and faster to see the content come together. Also, the use of layout techniques becomes more natural, as you learn to improve the flow of an article by using bullet points and boxes etc…. Graphics and images, is for me extremely creative, as the imagination can be the key to how many people click to read your information. If no-one is responding to your images on the social networks, then the hard work of writing, editing and publishing is lost.

Discipline is what separates writers from a wanna-be like me. It requires a concentration and focus way beyond other forms of computer, data-input type work, and even graphic artists have specifications and sources of stock material but the writer has to dig deep, reach inside themselves and then channel a flow of intellectual energy onto a page. The process is all-consuming to the mind and can’t easily be sustained for long durations. Even a seasoned journalist will use collected material and research to fill 80+ percent of the article because they bring to it a short strong narrative, along with the cohesion of formatting by sub-topic as well as adding syndicated photos, to make a journal style story. It’s takes years to learn how to do that well.

Everyone has way more imagination than they’re aware of, it’s just that much of it is squandered and spent on amusement or humor. While my suggestion is to use the creative power of the mind, in a systematic way, to earn a living by re-packaging information in a better container. To me, the very idea that I could help people to improve their lives, by sharing information that helps them in some way. My photos are mostly too amateur, my story writing is short and simple and my Photoshop skills, as a graphic artist, are crude but I’m an expert at web-publishing, which is why I love to create new webpages – like this one!

You’ve heard the expression a thousand times – practice makes perfect. Who cares about perfect? Proficiency and progress, those are the objectives of practice because the only way you can really learn how to tap into your imagination, is to take a chance and make something happen.


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