A one-hundred-thousand-word novel might take a year or several years, and then you just come to 'The End' one day. But it takes hundreds of days to get to 'The End.' As a writer, you have to put in those hundreds of days.
The distance between me and my readers is the Internet. I can communicate with them and respond to every email I get or every mention on Twitter.
As fiction writers, we are entertainers.
First novels tend to be blood-lettings, and they're focused on you, not the reader.
I often turn to my books when my own writing is having a hard time.