Taking care of the reader isn’t merely a matter of dispensing appropriate facts as necessary. It’s a commitment on a writer’s part to maintain the reader/writer relationship, and to honor the fact that readers co-create the work with their own voices and imaginations. Our works reach fruition through a symbiotic relationship with readers that we must attend to and maintain. If we offer them only a murky, imprecise experience, have we really held up our end of the bargain as writers?
[Genius] comes in flashes and then leaves, because you don’t possess genius—not even if you happen to be declared one. Instead genius inhabits you, enables you, fills you. I think the creative world would be better off by far—perhaps less selfish and competitive—if we embrace a concept of genius that envisions it as free-floating and collective, rather than bound up in the individual. Genius is something that strikes us, something we occasionally tap into unaware. We should be more concerned with this timeless, incomprehensible force that inhabits writers than with the accolades we use the genius word to bestow.