Dillard is more radical than I supposed—radical, that is, in the original sense of “forming the root.” She understands creativity to work at a metaphysical level, transforming the basic stuff of the universe.
Annie Dillard once said that an unpublished, unread manuscript gathering dust under an attic bed still exerts its influence on the world. Is this true? Can we pin our faith and our work’s worth on this hidden, immeasurable impact?
A writer’s capacity to tolerate discomfort, along with violent busts of elation and anguish, determines how deeply and for how long he or she can reside in the generative state.