“I started writing one afternoon when I was twenty, and ever since then I have written every day. At first I had to force myself. Then it became part of my identity, and I did it without thinking. It helped to have jobs that involved running around, pushing things like dish carts and wheelbarrows. It would be hard to sit at a desk all day, and then come to sit at another desk.
Also, it helps to abandon hope. If I sit at my computer, determined to write a New Yorker story I won’t get beyond the first sentence. It’s better to put no pressure on it. What would happen if I followed the previous sentence with this one, I’ll think. If the eighth draft is torture, the first should be fun. At least if you’re writing humor.”