Creative Influences

I’m sometimes (no, really) accused of having an over-active imagination, which is probably not a bad thing given my tendencies towards writing.

Talking about this with some friends the other day, I wondered aloud whether this is a generational thing. I’m not usually a social commentator, however I do think those of us in the Gen X category probably had the last of the best childhoods for creating over-imaginative minds.

What do I mean by this? Well, when I was a kid, most of the time we had to make up our own ‘worlds’ when playing. My childhood consisted of weekends at my grandparents’ house where we used my Grandad’s building scaffolding to create castles and pirate ships in the back garden, dug tiger traps in our family’s vegetable patch (just ask my Dad how effective those were), disappeared all day on our bikes into the countryside which surrounded the small town where I grew up, and read lots and lots of books!

If we were subjected to media, it was usually by way of a trip to the cinema – and those early films have definitely influenced my writing (think along the lines of Raiders of the
Lost Ark
, Back to the Future, and Romancing the Stone). Together with being exposed to a wide range of musical styles (and learning guitar from an early age), it all really contributed to who I am as a writer today.

Now, if I’d grown up in the past 15 years, I’d have been saturated with technology –computer games, smartphones and hundreds of television channels to choose from and keep me amused – which wouldn’t leave a lot of room for my own imagination to take flight.

I know there are still a lot of kids who love reading, and I’m also fond of a well-produced documentary, but I can’t help feeling I got the best deal.

Would love to know your thoughts.

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