Friday, September 24, 2010

The Folly of Imagination

"Having imagination, it takes you an hour to write a paragraph that, if you were unimaginative, would take you only a minute. Or you might not write the paragraph at all."
---Franklin P. Adams, Half a Loaf (1927)
Don't be embarrassed if you've never heard of Franklin P. Adams. I found this quote in a thesaurus of quotations published the year before I was born, and I had to look the guy up on Wikipedia. The truth behind his words made me laugh, so I thought I'd share it with you.

For your edification, Franklin P. Adams was an American columnist best known for his column, "The Conning Tower." He was also a member of the famous Algonquin Round Table, a society which yielded one of my favorite writers: Dorothy Parker. If he has been lost in the shuffle of the last fifty years or so (he died in 1960), it certainly isn't because of any lack of on the part of his imagination.

As a writer, I have been guilty of years of procrastination which I conveniently laid at the doorstep of "writer's block." I claimed that my imagination was essentially clogged -- like a rusty old pipe in need of a good Roto-Rootering. The truth is that I am the one who allowed my imagination to rust: I stopped writing.

The moral of the story is this: if you want your imagination to flourish, write every day. You'll be amazed at how much better your imagination flows.

Okay...enough with the plumbing analogies. I need to go write.

Susan Wells Bennett

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