Picture a world to your liking, a world that fits the perception of perfection that is found in your mind. Now, picture yourself, living in this world. Is it possible? Is it desirable? Or is this world too unrealistic, too narrow? The power to imagine something is one of our greatest abilities but bringing the things we imagine to life is a bit more tricky. There is a process of translation first. You have to follow a number of steps to make what’s in your mind true (unless you want to keep it in there, safe and comfy, which is not that bad, really).
Let’s say, you have a story in your mind, and it is a great one. That story feels fully formed. You can see the characters, it is as if they had a life of their own and a vibrant world to explore and talk to you about. You might feel a rush, a sense of urgency. You have to tell this story. You still have to write it. And the trouble begins.
What style? What kind of prose? Or perhaps you want to use verses? And then there is the issue of grammar, of vocabulary, spelling, pacing and all that. Suddenly, it becomes nearly impossible for the image coming from your mind to find solid footing in reality. Same goes with other creative outlets.
You might want to draw an image of the story and be faced with a lack of ability. You would have to do composition, morphology, proportion, shading. You might lack the ability to draw compelling details or your style might not live up to the idea in your mind. You don’t want to disappoint your characters and yourself.
Your voice is another tool. But this voice might be cracked, unappealing, too low, to high pitch. You might be afraid of using this voice to express what is found in your mind and to tell the story that you have devised. You might remember judgment made when you used any of these tools to express your imagination and turn your thoughts into objects able to change the world or at least to change your world and the world of the person next to you. And then, you feel stuck.
What is it then? How do you use that ability of ours, imagination? To manifest such power into the world, you have to first manifest it inside your world. You have to picture yourself as something big enough, wide enough, strong enough, to build a world. Something with energy, potential and focus, enough so that creating something new becomes the next logical step. In short, you have to imagine that self-expression is within your grasp. Then, you have to train it. Train so that this image of yourself become more and more clear. So that it comes a character your are familiar with, your favourite character. So that you can summon him at every turn or be transfigured into his likeness. Become the avatar of the character who represent your full potential.
However, there is a process for your to become this avatar. You have to learn more, to be prepared. Imagination is not creativity. Creativity is applied imagination and it requires training, rigor, discipline and a good deal of knowledge. It is almost like a ritual. To bring forth the vision of yourself who is able to make a world. It is also rather mundane. As simple as reading a book, taking notes, trying to actively recall what you learned by telling it in your own words, playing with the ideas and explaining the concepts to someone else. The ritualistic aspect might be as simple as setting a time in the day when you must train at your craft and bring forth a tiny portion of what you imagine. Even if it is banal, it is the strongest ritual there is. It could turn you into something of a genie, if you truly want it.