I think when I began, I played distortion more than the guitar. The results of my strumming. Now I play the twang of the string, which is a lot closer to the source of the sound making.
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It's like that Simpsons joke - they're filming a cow in a movie and they go, 'OK, we'll tape a bunch of cats together to make a cow', and it's like, 'Why don't you just use a cow?'. For some reason that is novel - like, 'Oh, my guitar sounds like a piano and now if I can just get my piano to sound like my guitar'.