James Baldwin: Write. Find a way to keep alive and write. There is nothing else to say. If you are going to be a writer there is nothing I can say to stop you; if you’re not going to be a writer nothing I can say will help you. What you really need at the beginning is somebody to let you know the effort is
Interviewer: Can you discern talent in someone?
Baldwin: Talent is insignificant. I know a lot of talented ruins. Beyond talent lie all the usual words: discipline, love, luck, but, most of all, endurance.
- James Baldwin, from his Paris Review interview. You can read the whole thing here.