I would recommend the cultivation of extreme indifference to both praise and blame because praise will lead you to vanity, and blame will lead you to self-pity, and both are bad for writers.
I think what's most disturbing about success is that it's very hazardous to your health, as well as to your daily routine. Not only are there intrusions on your time, but there is a kind of corrosion of your own humility and sense of necessary workmanship. You get the idea that anything you do is in some way marvelous.
You are on the look out for experience, strength, and hope. You want to hear from the horse’s mouth exactly how disappointments have been survived. It helps to know that the greats have had hard times too and that your own hard times merely make you part of the club.
I don’t struggle because I was always the stupidest kid in the class and the idea that I would ever be brilliant was knocked out of me in the third grade. So I’m not sitting around trying to be brilliant, or Shakespeare. I’m just trying to get the work I have in my head down on the page in the best way I possibly know how without putting that horrible pressure on myself of saying “I’m going to write it today and in 200 years at Princeton they will be studying these words.” Yeah, I want my stuff to be as good as I can conceivably make it, but I am not going to put that on my head.
I am a trader of jacks and a jack of all trades!
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