Dear Animal Behavior:
Am I doing this right? I had an idea for a story and thought it was a good one but then as I was writing the story I felt that it was like writing with shackles, writing in a cage, if you'll pardon that metaphor since that is something sensitive to you. I know that you write—do you ever experience this situation, where you're writing and you feel like maybe, just maybe, you could do something more if you didn't go ahead and put this restraint on yourself? Why restraints, I often wonder? Why do we do this to ourselves? There are no awards to be gained by such a thing, no place where our names are forever enshrined. I know that you write the way people think you might—with abandon, ferocity, and insatiability. This is one thing of various things I admire about you. This is why I come back to you time and again for advice.