Commonplace

“In this widest sense, imagination is a universal human tool, a function which we use almost, or sometimes entirely, without conscious thought every minute of every day. We combine—or reconcile—our knowledge of past history and present act and possible—imagined—consequences in the course of making all our decisions. And perhaps it’s true that for the artist, the writer, it’s not that she is different from other people, as she so often hears (oh, how did you ever think of that? You have such a fantastic imagination!) but rather that, like everyone else, she applies this kind of combining and synthesizing to her work. She attends what comes into her mind, what associates itself with what, and, like practitioners of other disciplines, she brings to that attention the special kind of training and experience which one learns to put to use in the practice of any craft.”

—Ellen Douglas, “Advice to Young Writers,” Witnessing (2004)

About Walter Biggins

Walter Biggins is a writer based in Athens, GA. His work has been published in RogerEbert.com, Bookslut, The Comics Journal, Salon, The Baseball Chronicle, Jackson Free Press, and Valley Voices: A Literary Review. Follow him on Twitter (@walter_biggins), and check out his bimonthly newsletter (https://tinyletter.com/Walter_Biggins).
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