The thing about having true fans, it seems, is that they remain loyal to their idea of what the work meant to them. And that might make them more exacting than the toughest studio executive or publishing boss.
We all know that the desire for perfection can get in the way of authenticity and enjoyment; it's the same with games. There's a completist part to many of us that can't rest until we reach the perfect 100% finish point.
I'd been to an Orthodox Jewish primary school where, every morning, the boys said, 'Thank you God for not making me a woman.' If you put that together with 'The Handmaid's Tale' in your head, something will eventually go fizz! Boom!
I had a year of panic attacks. I was feeling really pressured, like I could never do it again. With a first novel, you put things on hold because it takes so much mental energy and self-belief to keep on writing.
Expect to be disgusted by your own early work. If writing is your vocation, if you hope that it might be your salvation, push on through the disgust until you find one true sentence, a few words that say more than you expected, something you didn't know until you set it down.
I wish that positions of power dependent on education were as open to abused children, poor children, working-class children as they are to the children of the rich and successful. I really wish that were true.
People who were always hardbodies love that competitive style of team-sports activity: they come up with timers and fitness contests and personal bests. But for the vast majority of people, competition in exercise is not fun. It's no fun to compete if you know you can never win.
Competitive sports may be where exercise becomes 'fun' for children who are good at it, but for those who are less talented, it is where exercise becomes not only physically demanding but also emotionally painful and socially humiliating.
It's absolutely delightful to get dressed up for a lovely evening, but when it goes from being a fun thing to being a chore, and a chore that men don't have to do, then we need to think about it differently.
After the novel was published, I came to feel that I couldn't call myself Orthodox anymore. It's so patriarchal, anti-women, anti-gay. There was something about writing 'Disobedience'... it felt like I had put it all in the book. I had done my best by it, recorded what it meant for me. I felt I was done.
I think when I was 7, at school they got us all to write the story of Joseph and his brothers. I got a bit carried away and wrote 12 pages - everybody else wrote a page. The teacher was so impressed by it that she put it up on the wall for parents' evening. I thought, 'Oh, this is something that I really like that I also seem to be quite good at.'