If you could step back and offer your younger self, the one who's just started to think of herself as a writer, one piece of writing advice, what would it be?
I think I would encourage myself to be patient with my own proclivities. I spent a lot of time worrying that I wasn't being a writer in the correct way. I don't write every day—I write when I'm burning with an idea. I don't really want to write novels—I prefer stories. These are temperamental issues. When I was young I didn't trust my temperament, or I didn't understand it, and therefore wasted time fretting about what I didn't do well rather than simply trusting what I did do well. It's only recently that I've adjusted my thinking to imagine myself as an artist. I don't know why that made such a huge difference, but it did. An artist in a studio, working. Not the author of the book in the store, but the person in her house, pursuing a thought or character or image and trying to wring something meaningful from it. I don't know if that actually sounds like advice, per se, but the longer I write the more aware I am of the privacy of the endeavor. And I would have been well served by understanding that earlier.