What if, or the ability to look a the world like children do.
If you look at kids playing, they do not question who they want to be.
They go: ‘let’s say, I was…’
And they are, a super hero, a fire fighter, the world best football player. They go and save the world, rescue people and score the ultimate goal. With no questions asked.
Of course, as a responsible adult, I have lost that ability to just pretend I am a pilot whose plane is not going to crash against a hurricane, because my super skills and great technic will save the day. I can’t fly a plane, so I can’t imagine myself doing that.
However, as a writer, I have to yearn and search for that little sparkle in me that let me pretend I can do and be anything. Otherwise how am I ever going to bring characters to life. In a strange way, I have to experience the lives of my characters to put it truthfully on paper. So I definitely need the capacity to pretend I can be anything, and that the world is a place where great adventures await round the corner. I have to set aside my rational mind and let my heart lead my eyes.
One way to do that, is just to go. “What if” when looking at the world. What if there was a little girl trapped behing that strant looking window. What if the old lady waiting at the bus was a secret agent. And suddenly the world is full of great ideas, and wonderful stories just waiting to be told.
Now I must confess that the idea for this post did not come out of nowhere. It came from an essay I read, where Neil Gaiman was telling kids what he can’t tell adults, that is how he gets his inspiration.
For me, after reading that essay, the time spent doing nothing while waiting for the bus or queueing at the supermarket is not waisted anymore. I just look around, start with “what if” and the world becomes an extraordinary place again.
Read the essay and let me know what you think.