…[W]riting has this quality where all the effort and desire in the world doesn’t do shit. It’s hard to comprehend. All our lives we’ve been taught to try hard. That’s good, important to writing, too, but then in the middle of it, you have to be willing to jump off a hundred-foot pole with no net to catch you, no assurances….Writing’s essential nature asks you not to go forward, not to be productive, not to be logical. In the middle of all your conservative striving, it asks you to take a step backward into the dark unknown – actually back into your real self, which has never been explored and you are not sure how to get there.
–Natalie Goldberg, “Old Friend from Far Away: The Practice of Writing Memoir,” page 52