The Dam


There’s a divide between imagination and realization.  I almost enjoy the brainstorming part of writing as opposed to what amounts to the actual work of writing.  I’ve envisioned entire scenes — dialogue, emotional beats, crescendos, everything — so vividly that I can let them play in my mind like music.  But pushing them down out of my brain onto the keyboard?  It’s like damming a river, only they never threaten spill over.  They just pile up higher and higher, a backlog of ideas that push and strain but never break through.

I think part of it is that I don’t want to taint what I imagine is the crystalline perfection of how these ideas play in my head.  Maybe it’s an oxymoronic egotistical self-doubt; these ideas are simply too good for me to ruin with my writing.  Or maybe it’s taking too much satisfaction in only one half of the process, saying that’s enough.  Or it could just be fear.  Fear of finding out these ideas aren’t as good as I think they are, once they’re down there in black and white.  Much safer to keep them behind the dam, where the expectations are much less.

Whatever it is, this dam has to burst sometime.  These ideas need permanence.  Otherwise they’re just so much flotsam.

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