My brain is “fidgety.” It doesn’t sit still. It likes to go off adventuring while the rest of me does other things – things such as: waiting to arrive at my train station. Having an important meeting. Sitting an exam.
As you can imagine, this has its problems.
But now that so many of us are finding ourselves at home and facing some really tough things, I’m discovering a new benefit to my “fidgety” brain: aka my imagination.
Imagination is like an inbuilt escape hatch after all. Even if we can’t physically go there, in our minds we can explore the funny shape on the horizon we can see just over the rooftops from our bedroom window. Or countries that are thousands of miles away. Even other worlds. We can visit friends and family, meet new people, encounter fantastical beings.
What’s not to love about that?
In my book, Nevertell, eleven-year-old Lina escapes from a Siberian prison camp and soon discovers a world of magic beyond its fences. Later in the story, Lina realises the true power of ideas, and of imagination. Without either she may never have escaped. She would never have known of the existence of fairy tale beings – or discovered a touch of her own magic.
Ideas are powerful. They can change the world – in big ways and small. If you think about it, without ideas, or imagination, there wouldn’t be much of… well, anything.
While we’re zipping around the place in our minds – reading, writing, daydreaming – we’re helping ourselves, too. We’re transported. Maybe we can forget stuff for a while, figure a thing out that’s bothering us, or feel a little better. And feeling better, even for two minutes, is a precious thing in hard times. Lina knows it, and I’m certain that she’d say the same.
Without my fidgety brain there wouldn’t have been a Nevertell. That much I do know. So, one day, when I’m finally in the lovely position to miss my train station again, I’ll remember how much my imagination helped me, too.
Katharine Orton lives in Bristol in the UK and Nevertell is her first book. You can find out more, ask her questions or find free resources and creative activities on her website: www.katharineorton.com.