vi – If you don’t keep repeating a mantra of some sort to yourself, you’ll never survive.
vii – Here it is: Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.
5 – I stop every day right at the point where I can feel I can write more. Do that, and the next day’s work goes surprisingly smoothly.
10 – What’s crucial is whether your writing attains the standard you’ve set for yourself.
10 – Basically a writer has a quiet, inner motivation, and doesn’t seek validation in the outwardly visible.
10 – I’m at an ordinary—or perhaps more like mediocre—level. But that’s not the point. The point is whether or not I improved over yesterday.
19 – So the fact that I’m me and no one else is one of my greatest assets.
21 – Who in the world could possibly have warm feelings, or something like them, for a person who doesn’t compromise, who instead, whenever a problem crops up, locks himself away alone in a closet?
37 – I’m struck by how, except when you’re young, you really need to prioritize in life, figuring out in what order you should divide up your time and energy. If you don’t get that sort of system set by certain age, you’ll lack focus and your life will be out of balance.
38 – If one out of ten enjoyed the place and said he’d come again, that was enough… Still, I had to make sure that the person who did like the place really liked it. In order to make sure he did, I had to make my philosophy and stance clear-cut, and patiently maintain that stance no matter what.
45 – The most important thing we ever learn at school is the fact that the most important things can’t be learned at school.
46 – In the final analysis we’re all the same, I thought.
92 – I like the fact that this brand of shoes doesn’t have any extra bells and whistles.
96 – When we set off to write a novel, when we use writing to create a story, like it or not a kind of toxin that lies deep down in all humanity rises to the surface.
139 – What the world needs is a set villain that people can point at and say, “It’s all your fault!”
153 – And you start to recognize (or be resigned to the fact) that since your faults and deficiencies are well nigh infinite, you’d best figure out your good points and learn to get by with what you have.
171 – It’s precisely because of the pain, precisely because we want to overcome that pain, that we can get the feeling, through this process, of really being alive…