I started a new novel; it’s moving along at the pace of a very fast snail or an extremely slow leopard. As it’s my third book, I’m becoming more critical and feel generally more neurotic about the whole thing. This is good, because I’m improving. As a writer, you need the right balance of self-doubt and self-confidence – slip into conceit and you’ll write badly, slip too deeply into self-doubt and you won’t write a thing. On balance, a bit of smug arrogance can be helpful, if it’s generously sprinkled onto the hideous layers of self-doubt.