I've been thinking a lot today about creativity. As a fiction writer, I spend a lot of time living in worlds of my own creation, expressing them on the page and finally sharing them with people who read my books. It's been brought home to me recently what a powerful thing this can be, as I've had feedback from readers of my latest book, Marrying Cade, saying they'd love to visit the island where Marrying Cade is set - Isola dei Fiori.
I love it too. But it doesn't exist in reality, instead existing only as a manifestation from my mind. Does that make it any less real? The same is true of characters. The creations of many novelists live when shared with others. Sherlock Holmes, Mr Darcy, Harry Potter, all mean something deep and meaningful to the people who have read them, and their struggles and unique take on the world in which they live have made them transcend the 'cardboard cutout' and attain almost reality.
Our traditional view of reality is trammelled by science. If you can't see it, it doesn't exist. But I don't believe this - I can't believe it because my own experience is so different from this view. The locations and people I write about are very real to me. I know them, dream about them, and feel them in my heart and soul.
A lot of what I feel about writing and creativity is voiced here by the inspiring painter, John Bramblitt - who expresses himself by painting beautiful pictures from inside himself even though his eyes no longer see.
Watch the you tube of him at work - and be inspired.