Is having an 'imagination' exclusive to children? Watch

pitchy08
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I only ask because I used to have a vivid imagination when I was younger (infant/junior school age) which stemmed from reading loads of books and comics - I could easily write a 10 page story for homeworks featuring a range of characters just brought about from the top of my head (quite something when you're that age!) and overall just loved writing stories and using my imagination.

From the start of high school however, I think I turned into your average lazy kid and literally did what had to be done in school and the rest of my time was spent playing sport, on computer, TV etc. Not really any books of any description:eek:

I'm completely regretting abandoning it now cos I was just having a clear out and looking at how many pages of stuff I used to write about and think they were quite good for my age:p:

Now, without reading any books for years and spending more and more time in front of a computer/TV screen like most teenagers, I fear all that imagination has been wiped out and I think my mind has actually slowed down constantly being on a computer/mobile/TV. I know it's the 21st century but I just feel I had so much more imagination back then and would love to have it back!

Has anyone else experienced this? Am I been overdramatic and a few good books should get me back into the rythum of things, along with going on comp as little as possible? Please help, I'd love to write a few stories now When I was a kid there wasn't even any effort to it, I just wrote for hours cos I enjoyed it, I want to get that feeling back. Now just thinking of sitting down with a pen fills me with dread after almost 10 years without doing it and wondering if I'll ever get that imagination back!
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blissy
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It's partly to do with the lack of inhibition children have, so they allow themselves to have imagination. They also don't critique their writing as they do it. As adults, we tend to cringe. It's also because they are so imaginative a lot of the time so they're well practised.

Perhaps some creative writing classes to combat these things? I've done a few and you'd be surprised by what comes out!
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Absinth
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I feel the same way. For me, it's probably the lack of reading which has slowed down my imagination. That's why I'm going to try to read more fiction during the summer.
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Kolobok
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Your ideas are certainly influenced by more things you grow older, but I guess any 'loss of imagination' would be balanced by your gains in comprehension of the world. Any stories you write now would probably be better-received as you would consciously style them appropriately for a specific audience and your ideas would probably be more believable (obeying laws of physics, morals, etc.)
Of course it all depends on what genres you intend to write under, but my main point is: don't despair about your imagination being 'ruined' (we all leave childhood!), and like you said, reading more now will help you get back into it, even if not in the same way. Good luck!
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wanderlust.xx
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No. Not really, no.

I still play DragonBall Z with my old mate (when we're alone, yes, I know, it's pathetic), and we even pretend we have a little fort at the back. Heck, my aunt got a new TV and all I could to was play with the box. =( Little cousins soon joined in, by god, that was a fun time.

On a more serious note, I think that imagination tends to be interlinked to profanity/the "real" world, where things like sex, drugs, alcohol and cursing seem to sort of, add to the "realness" of the world, and we tend to not want to return to our imagination because the real world has so many alternatives to offer.

On the other hand, you could say that people who tend to dislike life go back to their imagination, which is of course, a strong form of escapism. Isn't this the basis of mental instability? Don't quote me on that, I'm no psychological expert, but it would make sense.
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josepharthur
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1. You are not alone.
2. I am currently working on this issue. I am studying chemistry at Oxford and am spending all of my summer doing art. I will not let my creativity slip away.
3. "Going back to childhood" is a common theme in twentieth century art. Practically, you do this by letting go of societal inhibitions when doing art; this includes not thinking about "what others might say about your piece of art".
4. The only way of going back to the stage you were previously at, is to DO art / WRITE literature. Luckily you will quickly realise that with a little practice you are back to where you discontinued your development, and then it is just up to you to continue from there.
5. Good luck.
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Reflexive
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You're right, the mindset of children is just different. You 'feel' different as a child... there's probably different sets of chemicals in your brain. Things feel fantastic and wonderful and the imagination is alive. As an adult it's just naturally different, although you can probably still keep such things alive by being creative and engaging with creative things.
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faber niger
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Of course not. You just have to rekindle it. Read more books; think outside the box; do logic puzzles; be spontaneous; engage with new things, don't get into a monotonous routine. Try to always see things from as many angles as you possibly can. You can improve your creativity, just like any other aspect of yourself
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pitchy08
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Thanks for the quick and detailed replies everyone, really really grateful

I will definitely be getting loads of books this summer to provoke some of that lost creativity! How do books do it though? I know they do obviously, just interesting how since I remember reading books then writing completely different stories, not just being inspired and slightly copying the original...

Anyone got any books they can recommend to start me off on?
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faber niger
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(Original post by pitchy08)
Thanks for the quick and detailed replies everyone, really really grateful

I will definitely be getting loads of books this summer to provoke some of that lost creativity! How do books do it though? I know they do obviously, just interesting how since I remember reading books then writing completely different stories, not just being inspired and slightly copying the original...

Anyone got any books they can recommend to start me off on?
You get creativity from books as they give you new ideas you maybe wouldn't have thought of alone and so you become more used to seeing things from more than one perspective -- this is especially the case if you really think about what you have read, e.g. the consequences, what it means, similar situations etc. That really gets your brain working. Try and get some real classics. I'd recommend The Island of Doctor Moreau by H.G. Wells -- I think you'll find it interesting and it's good quality writing, though it's not too boring that you'll get sick of it!
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Loochery
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I think I've managed to hold onto my imagination (if my weird, vivid dreams are anything to go by at least) whilst growing up, but I do still read a lot. I do think it becomes harder as you get older, however. It did seem really easy when we were younger, but that might be due to the amount of time you spent 'playing' - imagining shop/home/school scenarios with your friends.

As for books, I always always always recommend The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger :-)
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Desperate Prayer
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Not at all, although it usually comes easier as a child. Im not sure whether games, films and books damaged mine, or if its simply something that fades as you get older.

Its perfectly possible to cultivate it again however, but I speak as someone who has been reading fantasy/fiction since a ridiculously young age, so that might have helped
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h82think
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My imagination is still as wild as it always was
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Anony mouse
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(Original post by pitchy08)

From the start of high school however, I think I turned into your average lazy kid and literally did what had to be done in school and the rest of my time was spent playing sport, on computer, TV etc. Not really any books of any description:eek:

Has anyone else experienced this? Am I been overdramatic and a few good books should get me back into the rythum of things, along with going on comp as little as possible? Please help, I'd love to write a few stories now When I was a kid there wasn't even any effort to it, I just wrote for hours cos I enjoyed it, I want to get that feeling back. Now just thinking of sitting down with a pen fills me with dread after almost 10 years without doing it and wondering if I'll ever get that imagination back!
Is having an 'imagination' exclusive to children? This is exactly what I have been wondering!

I feel the same as you! The only difference was that rather than write my ideas out, I would act and play them out instead with friends like a live action role playing game! I would tell the story whilst acting out different characters! Seriously, some of the plot lines were absolutely fun and full of suspense and drama!

Childhood was so much fun! Now I fear that I've lost this imagination for fantasy and sword and sorcery epic stories!
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Reblet
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Not unless I'm still a child... My imagination is still there I think.
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rottcodd
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You haven't really lost your imagination, it's always been there it's just that the material it acts on is different. When you are were younger you might have looked at your teddy bear and imagined him in some heroic battle, now you watch a film instead and use your imagination to think about an actor participating in some heroic battle. If you are feeling like you've lost your imagiantion, then it's not that you actually lost it, but that the stuff that presents itself to you in your adult life you no longer find sufficient for your imagination to act on.

Part of the problem in sitting down with a pen and desperately willing your "childhood imagination" to come back is that you can't consciously summon up your imagination. Did you have a favourite childhood book that you used to read? When you think of something weird or odd just going about your daily life, jot it down and it might spark off ideas later. But write when you want to write, don't write because you are forcing yourself to.

But, there's no way of reconciling the fact that you won't ever think the same way about things that you did when you were a child - but maybe writing and reading helps you get over it a bit because you are still using the same thing that you used back then. Playing a computer game isn't really any different than playing with your teddy bear in terms of using your noggin.
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Gemma_08
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I don't think so. It just changes over time as rottcodd explained.

I still have imagination
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jesus-ninja
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EXACT SAME AS ME! lol i used 2 write loads and loads and loved it, i read loads too but i also stopped but nw that its the summer holidays i decided 2 read loads and i think my imagination is becoming more crazy because it hadnt completely gone and nw its just going mad!
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Faith In Chaos
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Haven't read the thread, but...

Children live in a very visionary state. When they start education we begin to crush this with words and concepts, until eventually the 'thing' and the 'concept' become entangled and indistinguishable. So it isn't that adults lack imagination, more that through years of conditioning they have had it taken from them. Some manage to retain this visionary state; the artist.
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