Are Intention and Intent the same thing? And how does it work?
I consider them the same thing; those are synonyms in cosmere terms.
I added this aspect to a lot of the cosmere magics relating to Intent. Meaning you have to be wanting to do things to make a lot of the different magics in the cosmere work. Why is this? Well, there are narrative reasons, and there are writerly reasons (for a lot of the things I do).
The narrative reasons are: because I did not want the cosmere magics... it's just safer, it's a lot safer for people. And it allows those who are experts in the magic and who actually work with it to become better. Knowing what you're doing, and knowing and learning; I want there to always be an aspect of learning and practice to a lot of the magic systems.
A more narrative reason (that's kind of a narrative reason) is that there are a lot of things I want to do with the cosmere magic that, when they interact with the physics of the real world, I need some wiggle room. You see this with destructive interference in sounds in Rhythm of War. Where the way that it would work in the cosmere, thinking of something as destructive interference actually creates for it a feeling, an Identity, as destructive interference. Where, in reality, destructive interference, there's nothing inherent to it being destructive interference. It's the same sound, just played in a different way. But in the cosmere, we can add this element of Identity to it, through Intent, that it is specifically made to do something. Which just allows me more gears and levers to play with as a designer of a magic system to make the physics work. And, basically, a lot of these things are... Imagine Intent, narratively, as the converter between real-world physics and cosmere physics, the little adapter that you stick between them. By adding Intent, I have an adapter.
That works really nicely; it's very writerly to try to explain this, but it works really nicely for smoothing the line between real-world physics and cosmere physics in a way that makes it much more fun for me to write, and much more consistent with both things, real physics and made-up physics.