“Insofar as you are able, I would ask you, then, to be wary of the distractions of fame and the blandishments of commerce. I would ask you to be tireless and devoted in the courtship of your own imagination. I would ask you to nurture your friendships, your alligence with other human beings. If you feel grief or rage or love, give it a shape so that we as readers will know what you mean, and be able to better understand, better cope with the landscapes of our own grief and rage and love….Write until your mind goes blank. Write until your heart is nothing but ashes. Please. ” (emphasis mine.)
To read the rest of his excellent speech at the recent Whiting Foundation Awards, click here.