It must be great being a kid. It’s so easy for them to slip between this world and the other – the world of imagination. It’s no great leap for a young child to picture a wooden spoon as their sword, a pot as their helmet. And of course, the family cat is a dragon that must be slain.
This is bad news for the cat, but great mental exercise for the child. It makes you wonder why we buy expensive toys when all they really need is an active imagination and access to our closets and drawers. Look away for a moment, and little sister has become a mummy thanks to a roll of toilet paper.It's no great leap for a young child to picture a wooden spoon as their sword. Click To Tweet
As we get older, it becomes harder to enter other worlds. Our responsibilities here keep us grounded, and not always in a good way. Children have the ability to enter another world with almost no help at all, but adults need a push.
We consume story to pull us out of our everyday lives and give us a momentary escape. If we can’t slip away on our own, watching a movie for a few hours or picking up a book can give us the release we need.
When we create stories of our own, it’s even better. We find ourselves back in that childlike state of actually, for a moment, living in the worlds we’ve made up.
When I’m staring off into space (all the time) and my wife asks me what I’m thinking about, the answer is usually “a story that I’m working on”.
But that’s only part of what’s really going on. In my mind, I’m walking through the streets of a made up city, chatting with the main character of the story. We’re trying to figure something out. Or I’m reliving a scene over and over, working out some small detail. It’s exhilarating and a lot of fun.
This is why we create and tell stories. This is why we make stuff up. It’s a personal escape first. Then, we hope that a reader will come along for the ride once we’ve committed months of dreaming to paper and ink (even if that ink is digital).
This is why we keep Burping.