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Tap into your imagination with this one technique

“Vision is the art of seeing things invisible”— Jonathan Swift, author

In the movie, “The Magic of Belle Isle,” a single mother and her three children befriend their neighbor, a curmudgeonly wheelchair-bound writer, Monte Wildhorn.

When one of the daughters, 9-year-old Finnegan O’Neil, finds out Wildhorn (played by Morgan Freeman) is a writer, she hires him to give her lessons in finding her imagination.

In one scene, Wildhorn urges Finn to tell a story about what she sees when she looks down the deserted lakeside road in front of his house. When she struggles, Wildhorn gives her a lesson that we can all learn from as we craft stories: Look for what isn’t there. Imagine what could be. This advice sparks Finn’s imagination because she is approaching her story from a different perspective.

In the process of helping young Finn learn the art of storytelling, Wildhorn gains new inspiration to write again.

If you’re feeling stalled about how to approach the question of, “what happens next?” in your current work, consider tapping into your imagination by asking, “what isn’t there?”

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