The Writer’s Approach to Life: How to Develop Your Imagination

As you aspire to be a writer you should view life itself as a writer would. All experiences, both your own and other people’s, whether happy, sad, frustrating or tragic, should be seen and examined as potential material for you to use. This is important for beginners who plan to be novelists or short story writers. It is valuable to note down these experiences, good and bad, and all the facets of human emotions for possible future use.

The writer's approach to life
The writer’s approach to life – photo credits: pixabay

In order to make the most use of what is happening around you, you should try to use all of your senses all the time. Nothing should escape your keen observation and scrutiny. You should become an enquiring person. Ask yourself questions about why things are being done, the background to events, the circumstances that surround them and the reaction of both those involved and those merely observing. There are ideas for stories, articles, and news items all around, if only you can recognize them.

One journalist has told me that he could guarantee to come up with at least three ideas for his newspaper’s gosssip column merely by walking down the town’s busy street. He had trained himself, he said, to make a mental note of what the untrained observer would miss. What is the important is the ability to analyze an incident in order to use it as the basis for an article, news item or short story. Observations plus questions should stimulate your imagination into creativity.

  • How to develop your imagination?

First imagine you are a journalist with a column to fill each weekday. Walk down the main street of your home town or vilage and observe the passing scene. Next go into a public park or somewhere similar and discreetly observe someone or several people. When you get home write a paragraph of not more than 100 words about something you saw while walking down the street. Write a factual description of someone you saw. Describe the color of the hair and eyes. Was he fat, thin or of average build? How was he dressed?

The keener your observation of the world, the more this will help your imagination. Nothing should escape your keen observation and scrutiny. That is the writer’s approach to life.

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