That which drives us (or at least me)

-it seemed that I had to be a writer as well as a reader. I bought a school notebook and tried to write- did write, pages that started off authoritatively and then went dry, so that I had to tear them out and twist them up in hard punishment and put them in the garbage can. I did this over and over again until I had only the notebook cover left. Then I bought another notebook and started the whole process once more. The same cycle -excitement and despair, excitement and despair.

-Alice Munro, "Cortes Island" (1999), as quoted by Margaret Atwood in Negotiating with the Dead

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