(Writing) uses you profoundly. There's simply less of you after you finish a book . . . Yet if you're writing a good novel then you're being an explorer-you're getting into something where you don't know the end, where the end is not given. There's a mixture of dread and excitement that keeps you going. To my mind, it's not worth writing a novel unless you're tackling something where your chances of success are open. You can fail. You're gambling with your psychic reserves.