Friday, May 20, 2016

On not being afraid to jump

At this very moment, I’m poised at the beginning of writing a new novel, with my thoughts and brainstorming and scribblings scattered about me. My heart speeds up just thinking about what this story could be. I’m excited about its potential, but it’s daunting. (Somehow, all beginnings seem daunting to me.)

You know that gap between what you can imagine and what you can create? When your vision for your story is UP HERE but your writing ability currently seems to be down here? Yeah, that gap. I always fear it's enormous, and if I attempt to tell this story (meaning, any story that catches my heart) I’m going to plummet to the depths of… what?... disappointment? failure? Truth is, I’ve got a feeling, an image, a hope of what this story could be, and I just don’t want to wreck it.

And yet... Maybe I’ll be able to close the gap enough to do the story justice, to be happy with what it becomes, even if it isn’t the perfect story of my imaginings. It won’t be anything at all if I don’t try! And who knows—maybe what it becomes will be the story it’s actually meant to be. I have to believe that, I think, if I’m going to move forward.

Maybe that’s how it is with all creative work. You start out with a vision, and then you put your heart and soul into it, and you so want it to be brilliant.

But then you look at it, and when you see what you’ve made, it’s not what you were aiming for. And you’re like, what?!?

Maybe somewhere along the way you went off track, or you couldn’t quite “bridge the gap”, and you’re disappointed and maybe frustrated and maybe a bit why-do-I-even-bother. But I want to encourage you to trust that your efforts are not wasted or worthless. Trust that if you put your heart into this act of creation, it will speak to someone else’s heart, too. And that bridges a gap between hearts. Between people. Isn’t that the most important bridge to build?

So… see that gap? It’s okay. Jump.

I'll jump with you.

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