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I think self-confidence is a very dangerous thing for writers. I tend to write in a fragile, edgy, doubtful sort of way, trying things out all the time, never confident that I’ve got something right.
You are involved as a person. But quite often the way you are involved as a person doesn’t make for good writing. The writer and the person are two very separate entities. You think as a person in a way that is not the same as the way you think as a writer. It is only when you actually feel, as a writer, This has got the makings of a story in it, that you will use it. Otherwise it really has no interest to you as a writer. You may feel strongly about something, but there may be nothing you can do with that intensity of feeling, no story to tell. Whereas you can tell a story just because it makes a good story. And you tell it, because that’s how you communicate. It’s better to tell a good story than to feel more strongly as a person while you tell a bad one. It’s a foggy area, this—it’s almost impossible to talk about it. People like me write because otherwise we are pretty inarticulate. Our articulation is our writing. All of this—for me at least—is particularly difficult to analyze. As soon as I begin to analyze I feel myself becoming some kind of academic who’s examining what I’m doing, and that’s most uncomfortable. It’s a strange trinity—the person, the writer, the analyst. I try to keep the first and the last out of what I do.