What is this thing that has us chewing at our own selves, grating ourselves against our own sharp sieve? It is the act of stepping back. It is the act of separating, and judging. It takes only one because the one becomes two.
I spent the morning smashing fliesI killed one fly against the doorjamb. Another I stalked into the kitchen...A third fly wavered by the kitchen window. When I swatted, a wild ferocious swing, a whole trembling crowd shot from the window like pebbles from a blunderbuss, then settled back. My heart pounded. I felt flushed with disgust and irritation. Why must I always have such obstacles to my writing?
The only way [the book can be written] is to set the unbook-the gilt-framed portrait of the book-right there on the altar and sacrifice it, truly sacrifice it. Only then may the book, the real live flawed finite book, slowly, sentence by carnal sentence, appear.
Successful writers are not the ones who write the best sentences. They are the ones who keep writing. They are the ones who discover what is most important and strangest and most pleasurable in themselves, and keep believing in the value of their work, despite the difficulties.