Patchett says, "My standard line is that writing is like taking a car trip. If I don't know where I'm going and I don't have a map, I don't get there. I understand a lot of writers say if they knew where they were going, there would be no point in writing, that a book is the process of figuring out where it is going. But I need to know how it's going to end before I start."
I don't always know my endings, and I don't think she means that everything is written in stone (or maybe she does, but I'm not taking it that way), but I do need to have some vague idea. Of course, it changes as I write, but after feeling so browbeaten by the "follow your pen" crew of writers, I find this quote really inspirational.