For a man, creating a child – though certainly not raising one – is almost accidental, where writing a book takes years of thought and effort. Or to put it another way: raising a child can seem as ordinary, as continuous, and as ‘easy’ as life itself, while writing a book is like staying up all night. Or yet another way: few sixteen-year-old boys dreaming of being a writer, plotting how to become one, rehearsing and practicing, fantasizing and preparing.

James Wood, “Sins of the Father”, The New Yorker (22 July 2013), 72.