Success is nice because then you don’t have to worry so much about having been unfairly robbed of your very richly deserved success. Success is bad because momentary good fortune can temporarily hide the fact that you are still, despite your success, full of shit.
So much good stuff here:
Interviewer: So much of your fiction is charged with social import. Given our recent political upheavals, have you ever thought of writing overt political satire?
Saunders: I’m not very interested in that kind of satire because it works on the assumption that They Are Assholes. Fiction works on the assumption that They Are Us, on a Different Day.
Any mastery you can achieve in writing is totally personal and incredibly nuanced. It’s a sort of antimastery, feeling comfortable with being unsure.
One of the wonderful benefits of energetically pursuing a writing career is that I’ve come to understand the staggering limitations of my abilities. […] So one way I cope with this humbling state of affairs is via a little mantra: If I just stay fully engaged in whatever has presented itself, things will be fine. That is, I try not to think about things like: Next, I begin MY NOVEL!