He suggested I play golf, but finally agreed to give me something that, he said, “would really work”; and going to a cabinet, he produced a vial of violet-blue capsules banded with dark purple at one end, which, he said, had just been placed on the market and were intended not for neurotics whom a draft of water could calm if properly administered, but only for great sleepless artists who had to die for a few hours in order to live for centuries.

vladimir nabokov, lolita

There is no point in work
unless it absorbs you
like an absorbing game.
If it doesn’t absorb you
if it’s never any fun,
don’t do it.

D.H. Lawrence, “Work

if it doesn’t come bursting out of you
in spite of everything,
don’t do it.
unless it comes unasked out of your
heart and your mind and your mouth
and your gut,
don’t do it.
Charles Bukowski, “so you want to be a writer?

You were yourself again after yourself’s decease.

william shakespeare, from the sonnets

We are unusual and tragic and alive.

Dave Eggers, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

It took many years of vomiting up all the filth I’d been taught about myself, and half-believed, before I was able to walk on this earth as though I had a right to be here.

James Baldwin (via cosmofilius)

I didn’t like having to explain to them, so I just shut up, smoked a cigarette, and looked at the sea.

Albert Camus, The Stranger (via mjalt)