Michael Frank: When Writing a Book Means Learning to Listen

From a story on lithub.com by Michael Frank headlined “When Writing a Book Means Learning to Listen”:

Every new book you write is an education, often—usually—in ways that take you by surprise.

I remember hearing Philip Roth, late in his life, describe writing as the one profession where experience counted for next to nothing, because every time a writer types the words “Chapter One” he is stepping into an unexplored, unknown, unplumbed world. “You begin every book as an amateur and a dummy,” Roth said, accurately if pretty bleakly to my ear—but bleakly with an asterisk: because while you might begin as an amateur and a dummy, that’s not exactly where you’ll end up.