“I have had to cut my suit according to my cloth, and as time has always been a serious problem, to go to my desk at certain times, pick up my pen and begin to write. Any writer will know what I mean when I say that I think at the point of my pen. I can think there, and there only. If throughout the hours away from the desk I were still to be absorbed in the work which lies there, it would be impossible to live a rounded life. I could perhaps be a better craftsman, more of an artist; but I would be nothing else. The necessity immediately of changing the introvert attitude of the creator at the desk for the extrovert and objective state of mind necessary to meet the daily life and its emergencies is not easy, even now. I am often a little dazed when I leave the desk, and certainly very tired and empty after a full day of work. . . . Only at night after I go to bed do I begin to work again. Then I make notes, write sentences and even paragraphs. My first glance in the morning is at my bedside table. Much as I detest the word inspiration, it is probably at this time that it comes, if it ever does. Sometimes I am too sleepy to write it down, and in the morning I have forgotten it; but even at the desk once in a long while comes something which I seem to have picked out of the air, or ether. Something I am not capable of thinking for myself.”
My Story: A new edition and seventeen new years (New York, 1947), pp. 407-8.