What a radically dangerous pledge it is, to pledge oneself to writing. You must be willing to let everything else slide. (Or must you?)
If I decide that today I am answering a letter from a person who is suffering, that might be all I do today. If I put limits on it, if I say that because I am not being paid then I can only spend one hour on it, that may cheapen it. What I need to say may require six hours, not one.
What I do in the column is the opposite of a bullet-point list. It is a song. I enter into the spirit of an individual’s life. I try to touch people. I try to move heaven and earth with my prose.
Next: I can still speak directly to you.