...there is one operation -- perhaps field -- of judgment which a writer must exercise in regard to his work: He must after a time decide whether it is contemptible or not. Where I derive my assurance that my work is not contemptible I do not know, but I think that from that same source comes my conviction that it is not great...I am deep in dilettantism. Gradually I must resume my own meditation on the only things that can reawaken any writing I have to do. I must gaze directly at the boundless misery of the human situation, collective and individual.
Thornton Wilder in a journal entry from 1950.