I wrote with a combination of exuberance and panic. As I scrawled the scenes on yellow legal pads, I promised myself I would never show the manuscript to anyone. That self-deception was the only way I could continue. It’s a stratagem I still recommend to young writers. Knock that critical parent off your shoulder! Write for your own eyes only. If you think about the public, any public you’re likely to be blocked.

Erica Jong, in Fear of Flying's 2002 Afterword.  (via ablogwithaview)

As long as we have what we have inside; the capacity to love, to work, to hear music, to see a flower, to look at the world as it is, nothing can stop us from being happy…but one thing you must take seriously. You must get rid of the ifs of life. Many people tell you, ‘I would be happy—if I had a certain job, or if I were better looking, or if a certain person would marry me.’ There isn’t any such thing. You must live your life unconditionally, without the ifs.

Arthur Rubinstein