Where did my imagination go


Last year, I thought about writing a story where the main character has lost his imagination. I mean, really lost his imagination, because he can’t imagine things anymore. I don’t know what happened to the idea, but it slid between my hands and landed on the ground, waiting for me to pick it up on a day more fertile for writing. I have lots of those ideas just lying around, shamefully.

Now that is SO ironic.

Because I just wonder if I have lost MY imagination as a consequence of the stroke. It is SO hard to write a fiction story. What the HELL happens next? I’ve started a story now, based on an anecdote I’ve heard about my family, and I’ve found the parts that are hardest to write are the places where I have to make stuff up.

I’ve based stories on anecdotes before, filling in the gaps that an anecdote cannot fill to make a more detailed, expansive story. I make up characters, I make up detailed events, all circling the nugget of feeling that the anecdote conveys.

Ugh, it’s hard staring it down and not coming up with anything. I really, seriously do believe I’ve lost my imagination. (Egads, maybe it’s time to write the story about the guy who has lost his imagination–and THEN what, I ask. What does he look like, what does he do in a day, what does he do to resolve it, what challenges does he face? I’m daunted by…all that…imagining).

Meanwhile, it’s raining. It is so welcome to me. I love the sound of water cascading over everything as it falls down from the sky.



Filed under The Stroke, Writing

9 responses to “Where did my imagination go

  1. I think some of the imagining you have used in your blog could form some basis for the character(s) you are trying to create. Lord knows how many of us that are posting are quite the characters!

    I have also been thinking about your stroke and what area of the brain was affected. Different areas of the brain control different functions as well as store information……and I am learning that there is a gender different in how/where information is kept. Not sure how much of that has been explained to you by the medical professionals you are seeing or have seen.

    BTW: I love listening to the rain too!

  2. Do you have to write fiction? Many stellar writers don’t. I think your nonfiction is totally riveting right now.

  3. Well I guess I don’t have to write fiction…but for my MFA thesis, I will have to start writing fiction fairly soon.

  4. If you switch to CNF, I’d say your thesis is virtually DONE.

  5. A late comment on this, but it’s something that’s so interesting to me–where ideas come from, what starts up the engine of what-if, why sometimes it’s working and sometimes it’s not.
    I have some stretches of time when it seems quite dead, but it has always started up again, so far. One of the things I try when it’s not working is to use outside stimulus–not ideas, but words or images taken from a poem maybe, or outside my window, or a list of random words. (I got this idea from Cristina Garcia, at a workshop.)

  6. LK

    JadePark, I feel your pain. I think I have, if not lost, then compromised my imagination by earning a living at dull yet relentlessly difficult jobs.

    Writing is writing is writing, try not to judge. Just write and enjoy the process.

    Who knows, maybe you will invent an entirely new genre.

    (P.S. I’m doing a post on Kerouac/Proust today or tomorrow that you might want to check out.)

  7. Lucette–yep, I have discovered that the muse waxes and wanes. Just the other day, I began remembering my dreams, so I wonder if there is a part of my brain and my process, that has now returned since the stroke!

    LK: Loved your post on Kerouac/Proust! It is hard to balance work (ie., surviving) and creating/writing, isn’t it?

  8. uppington

    The good news is that researchers are realizing that the brain is much more adaptable than we had ever thought. By working your imagination, even if it is damaged, there is a good chance that you can create new pathways to serve that function for you. Fiction writing as rehab for the brain. Don’t give up, or compromise your dreams.

  9. uppington–it’s been over a year now and i can say that the brain does indeed heal. i think it’d be interesting watching my brain heal in time lapse photography! 😛 thank you for the encouragement.

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