I’m not exactly a slow writer—when I’m really cooking I can do 800-1,000 good, polished words in two hours, that’s not bad—but it can take me a long time to get cooking, and sometimes one sentence can hang me up for an hour. (Those are usually the first sentences, in the next draft, to be cut. You would think I might have learned by now.) I have a hard time writing an excuse to one of my kid’s teachers, a recipe for Dutch babies, an apologetic email, without sinking into a revisionary funk. I’m also slow to know what I think, and slow to know how I feel: we’re talking reptile time, rock time, empires rising and then crumbling to dust. I still haven’t decided how I feel about Sandinista!, for example, and I’ve been thinking about it on and off since 1980.