When we choose to join the human condition rather than set ourselves apart from it, we begin at once to experience relief. If we stop calling our writer’s block ‘writer’s block’ and begin using words like ‘resistance’ and ‘procrastination’ we are suddenly no longer in rarified territory. (77)
Our shared humanity is the solution. Our ‘specialness’ is the problem. (78)
If we listen to the ego, we become dangerously marginalized. Our art becomes more difficult for us to make because we are too busy trying to make ourselves into artists. We become focused on ‘ How am I doing?’ rather than ‘What am I doing?’ (83)
Romancing the Ordinary
[H]ungers don’t disappear; if not acknowledged, honored, appeased, they will devour their torturer through depression, addiction, despair. (310)
Journals of Sylvia Plath
How the circling steps in the spiral tower bring us back to where we were! (101)
Winning or losing an argument, receiving an acceptance or rejection, is no proof of the validity of personal identity. One may be wrong, mistaken, a poor craftsman, or just ignorant—but this is no indication of the true worth of one’s total human identity: past, present and future! (105-106)
I shall write a detailed description of shock treatment, tight, blasting short descriptions with not one smudge of coy sentimentality. . . . (112)
I've been reading some classics which I suppose could be described as "coy sentimentality" and sometimes I wonder if there isn't a place for such things. Albeit, I am not the type to typically enjoy such things. I can't imagine writing anything of any length that would be described as "sentimental" but I did write a short story once that would qualify.
In a letter from her mother:
If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter—for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. . . . Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. (115)
For I must get back my soul from you; I am killing my flesh without it. (117)
Quoting first a poem by James Joyce and then writing her own thoughts:
My heart, have you no wisdom thus to despair?
My love, my love, my love, why have you left me alone?
If I were a man, I could write a novel about this; being a woman, why must I only cry and freeze, cry and freeze. (124)
[T[here is the terror of having no parents, no older seasoned beings, to advise and love me in this world. (143)
It’s hopeless to ‘get life’ if you don’t keep notebooks. (155)
[I]t is too usual to write about the lack of ideas of writing. (156)