The Unbridgeable Gulf


Every creator painfully experiences the chasm between his inner vision and its ultimate expression. The chasm is never completely bridged. We all have the conviction, perhaps illusory, that we have much more to say than appears on the paper. ~Isaac Bashevis Singer

Pictured is a shot of Santa Elena canyon, a West Texas wonder I've visited (and hiked in 100-degree-plus heat, heaven help me) on a couple of occasions. With its split monolith looming above me, I recall thinking that it's the scariest chasm in the world.

Or second scariest, I should amend, because Singer's got it right in this quote. The most intimidating gulf is definitely the one that appears between my initial, shining concept of a novel and the all-too-flawed reality of the evolving draft. While working on the thing, I'm often overcome with the thought that I will never bridge it... even the fear that I'll die suddenly and leave the clear evidence of my mental decide unedited on my hard drive.

Happily, that hasn't happened so far, and with patience, good advice, and infinite revision, I've gotten each manuscript as close to my original vision as was possible for me at that juncture. The bridge never completely touches down upon that initial concept, but I try to get my readers close enough that they're willing to make that final leap in their own imaginations...

Which leaves me free for dreaming the next dream.

Comments

Suzan Harden said…
Maybe, sometimes, the mismatch is because your subconscious is saying "Oooo, I know how to make this sooo much better!"

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