Here are some words on writing from On Writing Horror that resonated with me.
1. Perhaps to transcend categories others have invented for us, we have to be both dead -- long dead-- and "classics." (Joyce Carol Oates)
2. Yet talent, not excluding genius, may flourish in any genre, provided it is not stigmatized by that deadly label "genre." (JCO)
3. We understand that fiction is a lie to begin with. To ignore the truth inside the lie is to sin against the craft, in general, and one's own work in particular. (Stephen King)
4. If she (meaning his wife) had suggested that you can't buy a loaf of bread or a tube of toothpaste with rejection slips, I would have gone out and found a part-time job. (King, recalling his early days).
Number 4 above brought back a few unpleasant memories. Throughout the early and mid 1990s I did a lot of short stories and a lot of non-fiction. I didn’t make a living at it but I always made some money, sometimes $50, sometimes a few hundred, sometimes a few thousand (for non-fiction). I never took a summer off in those days because my wife always said we needed the money to cover insurance and such. I wrote around the edges: at nights, during Christmas break, on weekends. But in 1998 I spent almost a whole year of spare time writing on the book that was to become Cold in the Light. I passed on non-fiction stuff, barely scribbled a short story or two. I had a goal. And that year I earned $13.50 from writing. I remember when we went to figure our taxes for the year and I told my wife how much I’d made from writing, she burst out with this huge, spontaneous laugh. I can still recall it; it still echoes. As JR suggested on his blog today. Sometimes the hooks are buried deep.