For me the trick has been to structure my life so that most of my time is spent in the writing room. Most of a person’s understanding of truth is happening there. This success—it’s just like you are walking down the street and at some points you smell a great meal cooking and sometimes you’ll smell a dumpster. But you took that path and you accept the smells that are coming at you and enjoy them. Or not. But you didn’t necessarily cause them.
I don’t think you could ever make a good story by thinking if it would sell. But there is some kind of intersection between trying to write as sincerely and truthfully and well as you can and then some idea that a good-hearted reader would connect.
Over at The Morning News, George Saunders reminds us that money shouldn’t be the object, echoing David Foster Wallace, Bob Dylan, and John Maynard Keynes.