These days when I'm focused with all my strength on navigating said gulfs, it's hard to read abstract thought about the work of writing. In the middle of the process, bald instruction is more likely to confuse the rhythm and mood of narrative than to actually direct it. But here, thanks to BrainPickings, is F. Scott Fitzgerald talking about the cost of writing at a professional level. It's not a point about talent or training, it's the simple question of being all in:
I’ve read the story carefully and, Frances, I’m afraid the price for doing professional work is a good deal higher than you are prepared to pay at present. You’ve got to sell your heart, your strongest reactions, not the little minor things that only touch you lightly, the little experiences that you might tell at dinner. This is especially true when you begin to write, when you have not yet developed the tricks of interesting people on paper, when you have none of the technique which it takes time to learn. When, in short, you have only your emotions to sell.Fitzgerald isn't around to tell me whether I myself am succeeding, but according to his laws, my conscience is at least clear.
Readers and writers, if you have comments on Fitzgerald's points about the necessity of selling your deepest emotions, I'd love to hear them.