Is There Such a Thing As Imagination Exhaustion?

How do I know if I am suffering from IE (Imagination Exhaustion)?

I’m not sure how most people’s imaginations work. Not quite certain what sparks their creativity and other-worldly muses. It has been said that entertainers (from dancers, musicians, artists, writers and other creatives) tend to have an overactive imagination. Then, there’s the whole debate of right-brained versus left-brained people. Which is better, left or right? Verdict’s still out on that one, as it should be, because there is evidence to suggest each side has its pros and cons.

But right or left, imagination or muse, what I do know with certainty is I’m experience the birth of a new world (a world filled with characters and exotic backdrops and nail-bitting conflicts and plot twists) every time I blink.

There is a new story in every new smell, sight, sound, textured surface, and in every sweet or savory bite I take. There is a hidden hilltop vineyard mystery in every sip of Argentinian Malbec I have with dinner; An adventurous young woman traveling alone and navigating the  dynamic streets of Tangiers after sunset with every delicious bite of honey-soaked Baklava and gulp of sweet mint tea. The gentle Saturday breeze that sways the palm trees, takes me to a South Pacific shipwreck deep in the lush mangroves of New Caledonia where a crew of five will discovery who they truly are and what they are really capable of after being saved and nursed back to life by a people they assumed were savage cannibals.

The sad truth of it is, I am capable of filling volumes of encyclopedic-sized books with all the stories that traverse my brain, like the synaptic sparks that bounce back and forth and jump around spastically inside our gray matter all day long. Yet, when it comes to filling the blank pages to bring to life said stories with emotive, powerful prose, I am at a loss. The evidence? Simple. I have ventured thrice and succeeded thrice in completing three manuscripts – to the dozen or so stories I have started and abandoned, like discarded roadkill, unfinished and dismembered by the side of my long and frustrating witting path.

Is my struggle to complete so many fictional worlds, somehow connected to the fact that my brain, my imagination, is constantly being battered by an unstoppable storm of plot lines, heroes, villains, landscapes, conflicts and endings???

Do I have Imagination Exhaustion, or its less harmful cousin, Imagination Fatigue?

*Clinical/Medical Disclaimer: both Imagination Exhaustion and Imagination Fatigue or terms I have fictionalized/created for the purposes of this post. These are NOT actual medical conditions that I am aware of or have done any actual valid research on. If interested in these terms more seriously or if you are suffering from any unexplained side effects, please call your doctor immediately or seek help at your nearest emergency room.