I just listened to an interview with Updike and I like what he says about the singlemindedness writing demands to be successful at it. And also that there’s an obligation from a writer to show a reader that the writer knows what he’s doing in a book because that’s what distinguishes art from the real world, which doesn’t know what it’s doing.
In 1884, A. Timms continued to copy edit stories for a monthly magazine. He often used pseudonyms to get over the frustration and feelings of worthlessness. (It is a myth that he was addicted to pseudonyms. He also smoked a little hash and was known to inhale pot.) Embarrassed by his writing, he didn’t think he was a very good writer, so didn’t want to try anything too ambitious.
Here’s 2 little pills from Chekhov.
“Any idiot can face a crisis; it is this day-to-day living that wears you out.”
“A writer should be as objective as a chemist.”