You have to begin to lose your memory, if only in bits and pieces, to realize that memory is what makes our lives. Life without memory is no life at all, just as an intelligence without the possibility of expression is not really an intelligence. Our memory is our coherence, our reason, our feeling, even our action. Without it, we are nothing.
Ultimately I'm trying to write stories inside which a reader is transported; I want readers to have an experience that allows them to enter the time and place and life of someone else. And I want that experience of empathy to be continuous; I don't want the dream of the fiction to be broken by any carelessness on my part. That's the most I can hope for: that a reader might leave his or her world for an hour or two and enter the world of one of my characters. And if a reader is going to be nice enough to read one of my stories, it's up to me to make that world as convincing and seamless as possible.
in short stories, perfection is a valid goal, and it is fairly easy, psychologically, to go on perfecting a short story for several months without losing sight of the whole piece. The same with poems. But when the whole of the work is a hundred thousand words rather than two thousand words, you simply have to get those words down on paper or you don't even have anything to think about or work with. A novel comes alive, even to its author, as it precipitates onto the page. If you prevent it from going forward by polishing each bit, it is much harder for it to take on its own being. (221)