Imagination: Fueling children and writers for centuries (Melissa Robbins)

At our writing retreat, I shared how imaginative my ten year old daughter is.  I still want to create a picture book of her story about a little girl and her pet pig living in a Paris hotel even if it's just for her.  

I too grew up with an active imagination.  I was a shy kid and played with my made-up friends more than with real kids.  A child of the 80's, naturally my first story I wrote down involved a winged unicorn with a rainbow mane.  It was 'published' in my fourth grade class complete with illustrations by yours truly.  I still have it.  It's awful.  

Part of my extraordinary imagination came from hours spent reading.  My parents took me to the local library and an amazing used bookstore all the time.  Easy to get lost in your imagination when the bookstore had so many shelves, it was like a maze.  

Books allowed me to travel to far off places.  I loved books about dragons, magically lands, and pirates.  My dad was a sailor so that fueled my pirate obsession.  My next story (written when I was a young teenager) was about a girl who went sailing with her dad, but a freak storm appeared.  She got hit with the boom and fell over board.  When she woke up, she was on a pirate ship in the 1700's.  That story is unfinished due to lack of GMC I would later (a lot later) learn I needed.  

From dragons to pirates, I drifted to mysteries, borrowing my mother's copy of Murder on the Orient Express by the Queen of Mysteries, Agatha Christie and I've been hooked ever since.  

I bet I got some of my creativeness from my grandfather.  That man was an amazing storyteller.  Between his childhood stories and WW2 ones, I still wonder how much of them were made up and which ones were true.  Sometimes, truth can be just as amazing as fiction.  

Whatever the case, I have to write and create stories.  I can't help it.  It must be in my blood or was it my environment?  That would be an interesting study of writers.  Are you a writer because of you, your environment, or both?    


Rox Delaney said...

I don't know about the blood part, but definitely the environment I grew up in had a big effect. My mom didn't read much, until her later years, but my dad read all the time and was the one who read to me. You're right about reading and the growth of imagination. Spot on, Melissa!

Melissa Robbins said...

Thanks Rox!

Pat Davids said...

I think mine story-telling is a gene. I come from a family of awesome storytellers and imaginative people.
I wasn't encouraged to read, but I read all the time. I had to hide out and read because my parents thought I should be working if I had that much free time. My mother is a reader now, but not my dad. He is, however, a wonderful storyteller.

Joan Vincent said...

I'm not sure how I came to write. I had a vivid imagination just like you and did many of the same things. I entertained my three younger siblings whom I had to take care of a lot by telling them stories. Perhaps that started me on my way to writing.