For all you tortured artists
When people ask why I became a writer, I tend to emphasize the era, in my mid-20s, when I turned off the television and became a more serious reader. I talk about the sentences of Saul Bellow and Lorrie Moore, how enraptured I was, how I wanted to emulate them. It makes for a nice story.
But it’s not the part of the story that really matters. What really matters, it seems to me now, is that I was bored with my job as a newspaper reporter and depressed. I was living in exile from my family and driving away the people I loved with an astonishing efficiency. What I needed was therapy.
-Steve Almond in the New York Times Magazine