"You start into it [writing a novel], inflamed by an idea, full of hope, full indeed of confidence (about the only times in my life when I HAVE been full of confidence). If you are properly modest, you will never write at all, so there has to be one delicious moment when you have thought of something, know just how you are going to write it, rush for a pencil, and start in an exercise book buoyed up with exaltation. You then get into difficulties, don't see your way out, and finally manage to accomplish more or less what you first meant to accomplish, though losing confidence all the time. Having finished it, you know that it is absolutely rotten. A couple of months later you wonder whether it may not be all right after all."