On the subject of the nature of the gods, the first question is Do the gods exist or do the not? It is difficult you may say to deny that they exist. I would agree if we were arguing the matter in a public assembly, but in a private discussion of this kind, it is perfectly easy to do so.
When I'm really plugged in I find it difficult to write. It's like digging a well. If you make a void, something moves in to fill it. Writing books is like that. It's mostly about freeing up time, doing nothing, and in that time some writing starts to happen. We need to figure out how to maintain those voids.