When I write my stories, I see complete scenes in my mind just as if I’m watching a movie. As far back as I can remember I have been able to see whole pictures and always thought that everyone had the same ability or at least could visualise very easily. Training your mind to visualise is an important tool. By using your imagination, you can discover new ways of doing things. It opens up a myriad of possibilities.

The author and lecturer on Goethean science Henri Bortoft says that “it is harder for people today because of TV. Watching TV is something passive. Listening to a radio was more active. You needed imagination.”

But he also says you can train yourself by looking at for example, a leaf, then closing your eyes and creating the shape of that leaf in your mind as precisely as possible. “You are moving around the shape of the leaf in your mind and you follow every detail.”

Your imagination is like a muscle, it needs to be exercised for it to stay active.


  1. yeh i see whole pictures in my mind when i read books, but i believe it depends on how good the writer is as to whether you recieve the whole picture, some of the picture or nothing at all. i agree that watching tv does betray your imagination and at first i was shocked with the notion of the lord of the rings becoming a movie because i enjoyed so much my own imaginings of what the characters looked like and the structure and beauty of the land. i think its a shame that so many people when asked what frodo or gandalf looked like would now describe them as they were portrayed in the movie because their freedom of thought has become so restricted from the creation of tv.

  2. Hi,

    I love your descriptive text, loved the monastery and descriptions of Peng. They are wonderful images to conjure up and would make a wonderful art lesson with a class. I am studying a Grad Certificate of Education, Studies of Asia and am using your books for my author study. I love your use of words, the imagery is amazing. Words can be just as powerful as pictures!

  3. Yes, painting pictures with words can be just as powerful.

    When I’m writing, I see the whole scene in my mind and the characters acting out their roles. It’s like watching a movie. So all I’m doing is describing what I’m seeing. I think this is because I’ve always loved to draw and have a background in art.

    But I’ve discovered that not everyone can conjure up wonderful images in their minds when they read. This poses several questions – in what way do people, who don’t have this ability, enjoy a novel that’s highly descriptive? And can this ability of seeing pictures in our minds be taught by learning to use our imaginations more?

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