"In my own experience, nothing is harder for the developing writer than overcoming his anxiety that he is fooling himself and cheating or embarrassing his family and friends. To most people, even those who don't read much, there is something special and vaguely magical about writing, and it is not easy for them to believe that someone they know--someone quite ordinary in many respects--can really do it."
- On Becoming a Novelist by John Gardner
I love this book. I have heard some vague references to it every so often, but I never actually tried to find it. I happened across the title at Borders this fine September evening, and decided to pick it up. Easily the best decision I've made in quite awhile.
Gardner identified a lot of issues I've been struggling with these past nine months, and his insight into the writing process has given me a second wind. He identified a lot of bullshit writing that I had incorporated into my work and helped me learn how to fix it. I feel like I'm not pursuing a lost cause right now. And that, my friends, is the most wonderful thing I've felt in a long time.