Communicator (communicator) wrote,

Imaginary friends and creativity

According to Seattle researchers "by age 7, nearly two-thirds of children had had at least one imaginary friend."

I didn't have an imaginary friend as a child, and I don't think my kids or siblings did either, our imaginary play was of a different kind. For example, I used to imagine I was an emissary for a 'kingdom', and stuff like that.

We don't really know what happens down the road (with imaginary friends)," Taylor said, "but we suspect it's associated with later creativity."

I do - and perhaps this is arrogant - think I am creative, so I would kind of dispute that. Though there are always odd-balls who don't fit into these generalisation, and perhaps I'm just a statistical outlier. Here's an interesting twist:

Taylor recently interviewed about 50 adult novelists, including mystery writer Sue Grafton, to see if the same kind of relationship exists between them and their characters. Nearly all reported that, at some point, their character seemed to come to life and be outside their control.

This does not happen to me. My experience of writing is of uncovering an artefact, or perhaps developing a photograph, which comes into focus as I look at it more carefully. It is a non-linear experience, quite different from what many writers describe. I wonder if my different experience of imaginary play in childhood is related to this different experience of adult creativity.
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