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Friday, May 05, 2006

"Imagination is more important than knowledge...."

On one of the walls in my office, there is a poster of Albert Einstein and this quote is attributed to him. It is probably my favorite quote - I use it in the signature line of my e-mail, it's my screensaver, and that's not just because it's one of about five quotes I can readily recall.

I love it because it reminds me of why I wanted to write in the first place. I don't mind researching (I write historicals, so there is more than a little bit of that going on!). I actually like doing the research because it's like solving a mystery - one thing leads you to another and you might uncover something you didn't know you were looking for in the first place.

But imagination is behind it - the ability to bring something out of your mind and make it real for someone else. Anyone can learn something from a book, but it takes something truly special to create a world that no one has ever seen before. Facts are facts, and what is, is. But imagination is limitless and what starts out as a tiny grain of what if becomes Gone With the Wind or E=MC2. It becomes Oz and Star Wars and everything in between. And it's what keeps me going when I've gotten a rejection letter or halfway through a manuscript and the story derails... I just look over at that poster and think -

What if?

I have a five year old daughter who is the embodiment of imagination - nothing is beyond the realm of the possible with her and her imagation knows no boundaries. We should all be so lucky to have that ability and when I begin to look at writing as a job instead of a love, I watch my daughter and her imaginary friends. After a while, I forget that writing is my job and it all comes back to me - why this is something I've always wanted to do.

Because imagination is more important than knowledge.

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