Two things I dread: decreasing the signal-to-noise ratio and being dishonest about how complex the world is. Both of these are pretty paralyzing to a writer. Writing is violent. To write about something you have to cut away all the things that can’t be written down, rip it away from all the things you don’t notice and all the things you don’t know how to capture. Then, if you’ve managed to get your hands on anything, if there’s anything left, you begin to pick it apart. Editors, how-tos, the voice inside your head, everyone tells you to find the essence,