Reading James Wood’s “The Broken Estate” I came across this superb quote by Gustave Flaubert:
Stupidity consists in wanting to reach conclusions. We are a thread, and we want to know the whole design.
To me, this sums up the difference in writing the kind of opinion pieces that have been my living until recently and writing fiction. In an opinion piece, by the nature of that form, I need to display certainty; in fiction, I can embrace ambiguity, and follow threads. More and more, I feel myself drawn towards the latter—it makes me more certain of myself, if that makes sense.
I still hold strong opinions about many things, but I just don’t find those all that interesting. Uncertainties attract me more—such as the thought of whether there’s any Lindt left in the fridge. Off I go to find out, reveling, as Flaubert surely would, in the journey.
Update: Lindt was found. Mmmm!