The essayist has to follow a certain intellectual pattern. The novelist has the advantage of using fantasy, of being subjective.
I am a better novelist than a poet, playwright, or essayist.
The essayist ... can pull on any sort of shirt, be any sort of person, according to his mood or his subject matter philosopher, scold, jester, raconteur, confidant, pundit, devil's advocate, enthusiast.
In effect I am not a novelist, but rather a failed essayist who started to write novels because he didn't know how to write essays.