Over Your Head

“A writer should always feel like he’s in over his head. That’s part of what makes good writing compelling–the sense that as readers we’re in the company of a writer of vast ambitions, who is always trying to do more than he or she is technically capable of.

“And there, really, resides the pleasure that comes from writing … It’s like what runners feel running the 500-yard dash, making good time and feeling pushed slightly beyond their limits, which is great, and feeling at the same time that although they’re able to do something remarkable–they can run faster than almost anyone alive–they should nevertheless have done a little better, gone a little faster. They’ll try that much harder tomorrow. There may be, in the end, no happiness quite so potent as the anticipation of greater happiness still to come.”