your skin is not so tough

Some stories have such an excessive sentimentality that as soon as you’ve finished writing them you’re ashamed & wish you hadn’t; in fifteen years time you see their value. Other stories feel hard & pure at time of writing but fifteen years later seem so smug, wilful & aggressive-defensive that you’re full of shame & wish you hadn’t even started them. & some stories written fifteen years ago seem to have been written by someone older & a lot less lively than you are now, which is a puzzle.