Bob Dylan talks to Newsweek about his autobiography, which he did not enjoy writing, because he had to tell the truth straight, unlike in his songs, where he told everything through "symbolism and metaphors."
He says one thing that is very much the way I feel: "I don't think music is ever going to be the same as what it meant to us. You hear it, but you don't hear it." Maybe that's what everyone says when they get old. It's what my parents--thinking back to the Swing Era--said to me in the 1960s when I devoted any stray moment to thinking about what Bob Dylan was saying to me.
By the way, I can't agree with the statement, "while you're writing, you're not living," though I can see how it expresses something about how Bob Dylan felt that writing out the truthful story of his life was dragging him away from his real writing, his songs, thus stealing time out of his life. I think one may quite likely feel most alive while writing, and I would guess that that is true of Bob Dylan when he is writing his songs.