Musician, writer, artist and all-around punk goddess Patti Smith has released her newest book, Devotion. In it, Smith gives the reader a unique view of her creative process through sections of fiction and insightful looks at her inspirations and their fruition into beautiful songs, prose and poems. Smith joined Boston Public Radio to talk about Devotion, her writing, and her relationship with the recently deceased Sam Shepard. What follows are excerpts from that conversation.

What does your writing process look like?

When I was younger, I would sit up all night and write. Once I had a child, I had to find a new discipline, a new routine. I found getting up at five in the morning until eight, which wasn’t easy to do, but that was when I had complete time to myself. After some months, I became more comfortable with that routine and I have maintained it. I still write very early in the morning.

Is writing easy for you?

It is always different. Some days you can write for hours and other days if you write a sentence you’re lucky. Some days you can’t write at all, so perhaps you might spend the lion share of your time editing or studying or researching.

You’ve talked about issues you have with self-confidence and have worried that you are not good enough to be an artist. Where does that come from?

I admire the work of others so much and would hope to measure up and it is just self-measurement. Am I good enough? Is this book as good as Pinocchio? Does it merit being on a shelf with Moby Dick? I think of things like that. It is not out of lack of confidence or anything. It is really scrutinizing the work and always wanting to do better.

You told the Boston Globethe other day that you don’t understand what people see in you. How can you possibly believe that? You are one of the most accomplished artists of our time.

I don’t walk around thinking about my various identities that the public might connect me with, I am just myself. Sometimes I get up, I’m cleaning out the cat litter box and I’m taking care of this and that, and I’m trying to find my glasses under the bed, and I’m stumbling out with my hair sort of messy and a watch cap on, and I’m just trying to get to the cafe for a cup of coffee, and then people are so excited and they are shaking and they want to take a picture and I look at myself and think 'Geez. I know my self worth, I know that I am a good worker. I know my abilities,' but when you are just stumbling around your neighborhood, I don’t think about that stuff. I have the same kind of sensibility as any human being that sometimes has an awkward morning, or you're just hoping nobody sees you because you have your pajama bottoms on and boots.

You wrote a great piece for The New Yorker about your good friend Sam Shepard who passed away this summer. What has it been like dealing with his passing?

It is still very hard for me to talk about Sam. It is so difficult for me to reconcile the fact that he is not here on earth among us. I always feel his presence. When I first met him I always felt protected by him, artistically provoked by him, we read books together all through our life even at the very end of his life. He was just a wonderful man, a wonderful friend. I could talk about him forever, but I also in a certain way can hardly talk about him because it is so hard to imagine that he is not here. But he handled the end of his life just like he always handled everything — very stoically, very bravely, and also handsome, always handsome.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. Click on the audio player above to hear our interview with Patti Smith