It has always been on the written page that the world has come into focus for me. If I can piece all these bits of memory together with the diaries and letters and the scribbled thoughts that clutter my mind and bookshelves, then maybe I can explain what happened. Maybe the worlds I have inhabited for the past seven years will assume order and logic and wholeness on paper. Maybe I can tell my story in a way that is useful to someone else.
I also know that not everyone will like what I do, and that there are many people who do love my work, and so I write for them, and for my own pleasure, and try not to brood too much over those who have different tastes. And I have written enough books now that I know the self-doubt and the anxiety are part of the creative process, and drive me to keep trying to do better, and keep me from becoming too cocksure about my writing, which is a form of creative death.
You will write if you will write without thinking of the result in terms of a result, but think of the writing in terms of discovery, which is to say that creation must take place
between the pen and the paper, not before in a thought or afterwards in a recasting...
It will come if it is there and if you will let it come.
It's wonderful to look back at our old writing and cringe. It simply means we have grown and can write better now. And you found some parts you can be proud of, so when you throw the old writing on the floor and stomp on it, remember to celebrate those seeds of genius and be glad that you're still writing.
How can I expect readers to know who I am if I do not tell them about my family, my friends, the relationships in my life? Who am I if not where I fit in the world, where I fit in the lives of the people dear to me?
Borges said there are only four stories to tell: a love story between two people, a love story between three people, the struggle for power and the voyage. All of us writers rewrite these same stories ad infinitum.
If you are serious, and you want to make a living as an author, then you need to hustle. Period. If you can't make that quality, then you need to concentrate on your craft and practice more.
One other thing, quality comes with practice. If you are prolific, then you become a better writer because you are writing. The more you do anything the better at it you will become. So in a way, quantity does add to quality.