“real life is only one kind of life”

Are my stories true, you ask? No, they are imaginary tales, containing fantastic characters and events. In real life, a family doesn’t have a child who looks like a mouse; in real life, a spider doesn’t spin words in her web. In real life, a swan doesn’t blow a trumpet. But real life is only one kind of life — there is also the life of the imagination. And although my stories are imaginary, I like to think that there is some truth in them, too — truth about the way people and animals feel and think and act.

— E.B. White, in a letter to his young readers
[via Heading East]

Does it matter if you set out to do a project thinking you’ll probably do it badly?

“…increasing numbers of people crave some justification to be alone and think about their shit for at least one month of their lives, because society in the modern (i.e., capitalistic) era demands a lot of fucking attention just to survive, and you can easily let your entire life slip away without pondering the (generally unproductive in the economic sense, but intellectually rewarding albeit probably depressing) questions of why we’re even here to begin with, what the purpose of life is, and so on. So yeah, writing any kind of novel is a tiny revolution, and that alone is a reason for hope”