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Shirely Hazzard on Writing

If only I could write every day. I look back to the far-off time when I did so, mostly early morning and then late in the day. I do write in my head every day–I’m tempted to say all the time. One does instinctively reserve a part of oneself as the writing self, visiting it secretly while doing and saying all the daily things. I envy writers who feel compelled to write–John Updike, for instance–who are overflowing into reviews and articles and lectures. I have rarely felt that way–only when I was first writing, one short story after another, even though I had my bureaucratic job then, still full-time. Mostly I have to goad myself to it. And these days I’m beset by so many interruptions and by a sense of obligation. And there are the precious pleasures. It is hard to do. Yet one is never happy unless one is doing it.

Shirley Hazzard, The Art of Fiction #185, The Paris Review.