It occurs to me that maybe the reason my mother was so exhausted all the time wasn’t because she was doing so much but because she was feeling so much.
Buying a book is not about obtaining a possession, but about securing a portal.
If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.
You think relationships are difficult? Try friendships. Try courting someone in order to convince them to join you in some nameless, shapeless platonic complication — forever. Convince an adult stranger that you are worth a healthy slice of their limited time and energy without the prize of sex or romance.
No matter how smooth that you speak with your words, your actions will always define you.
Be somebody nobody thought you could be.
Only when we know our own darkness well can we be present with the darkness of others. Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity.
There are many myths about writing (writers are tortured artists; writers are drunks; writers are drunk, tortured artists). But in my opinion, one of the most insidious of those myths is the idea that you must be inspired to write. I’ve heard writers say things like, “I just wasn’t inspired to write today,” and “I’m waiting for that burst of inspiration, you know?”
I’ll let you in on a little secret. If you wait for inspiration to strike before you sit down to write, you’ll probably never finish a damn thing. Inspiration is like that hot girl or guy you met at a party one time—and when you talked to him or her, it seemed like you totally clicked. There was eye contact; there was flirting; maybe there was even a bit of casual brushing of your hand over theirs, right? I know. I’ve been there. At the end of the night they asked for your number and said, “I’ll definitely call you. We should hang out.”
But then they never did, and you were left waiting for a call that never came, feeling increasingly like a fool.
That’s what inspiration is. It’s seductive and thrilling, but you can’t depend on it to call you. It doesn’t work that way. The good thing is, inspiration is irrelevant to whether or not you finish your book. The only thing that determines that is your own sense of discipline.