Two words that lead to creativity

It is the power of questions that embolden us and keep us as expectant children, all the while developing the power of human consciousness.

Dan Sanders

I am often asked questions of creativity. How did I come up with a story so unique and yet so obvious? Or, how did I create such a deep and rich world around earth magic, that seems to make sense; the way we might evolve as species one day?

Besides my dubious credentials as predictor of human evolution, I often answer this blithely, taking for granted the creative process. But it nagged at me. I had spent many decades in corporate which attracts far too many with dulled imaginations, serious people who have grown up, stripped of the imaginations of their youth. The other day one of the parents reading my novel left  with an unsatisfied look on his face.  I pondered his dissatisfaction for a while and came up with the two most powerful words that would rewrite the course of my life.  Those words- “What if.”

I was suffering clinical depression six years ago. At the time my therapist encouraged me to engage in what was already a closet passion of mine, writing. I needed a world to escape and it had to be all consuming.

As readers of the blog will know from earlier posts, I stumbled on the specific idea of writing about the pagan easter while reading JRR Tolkien’s Letters from Father Christmas. For some fun, the following March, I sat down to write letters from the Easter rabbit to my two youngest sons (I have five children). This raised more questions than it answered, and there the mystical journey of recreating the pagan Easter began. 
 
As my research into the pagan beliefs evolve I was intrigued by the concept of earth magic, where it draws strength and healing energy from the earth. It was then I asked my first, “What If,” question.

I asked the questions, “What if” the Easter Bunny was real, and had the power to deliver eggs, a reminder symbol of Earth rebirth every spring. What kind of power would that take?
 
I created Annwyn (Celtic for _Otherworld_). To me this was a mythical world, one I desperately wanted to escape. 

To envisage the world of Annwyn I asked, What if I could really connect with the land in a truly profound way? What would that look like? How did the world come to be? What if crystals really could enhance and magnify our powers? What would each of those powers look like? Who would get those powers? What if I was so connected to animals and other beings that we could connect telepathically, both as individuals and as a collective?  My mind kept unfolding new answers, steam rolling into a swelling tornado of ideas. I ran around the house, literally, with my eyes closed, too scared to lose the thoughts.  For days and nights this energy burned within me. I doodled on paper, I drew pictures of the shape of a new world and the different nations that would inhabit the world. 

If the pagan’s believed in the four elements of Earth, Air, Fire and Water, What if, these elements could be manipulated. What would be the courses kids would study at school? What if those beings specialised, would they look different to those nations that were generalists?

I found the two most powerful words for me where, What if?

The answers that burst open to me were stunningly beautiful. I sometimes choked on the raw possibilities. I was a kid in a lollie shop while holding an xbox controller. What if I could ride a flying eagle or giant dragon fly since they were the majestic beings of this new world, not humans? What if we were all the same, recognising the inherent right all beings have to live and thrive?

If words precede thought as studies have shown, I know of two words that can have profound impact on us, and possibly save us, and take us to a place and a future we never thought possible, if we only ask them. What if?

Dan Sanders 2014