existentially open pores

8. The writing life's cruellest irony: while failure can make you miserable, success won't make you happy.

9. The writing life's cruellest irony: the creation of good fiction and poetry requires a life lived with existentially open pores, while handling the public side of a career requires thick skin, a closed carapace.

10. The writing life's cruellest irony: publishing authors are mostly recovering wallflowers who now seek to earn, through their writing, respect, praise, prizes, admiration, love - things they believe, consciously or un-, will retroactively salve the formative rejections of their early years. In so seeking, they bring on their adult selves more rejection and vicious personal attacks than they could ever have imagined in grade nine gym.

- from the series of memos "On Criticism" in Workbook: Memos and Dispatches on Writing by Steven Heighton. Writers, if you didn't get this book over the holidays, treat yo selves.

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