I have spent a good many years since―too many, I think―being ashamed about what I write. I think I was forty before I realized that almost every writer of fiction or poetry who has ever published a line has been accused by someone of wasting his or her God-given talent. If you write (or paint or dance or sculpt or sing, I suppose), someone will try to make you feel lousy about it, that's all.
I'd like to emphasize that when a reader finishes a great novel, he will immediately begin looking for another. If someone loves your book, it increases the chance that he or she will look at mine. So there is no competition between writers. Another writer's success helps build a larger readership for all of us.
[A] writer’s most powerful weapon, his true strength, was his intuition, and regardless of whether he had any talent, if the critics combined to discredit an author’s nose for things, he would be reduced to a fearful creature who took a mistakenly guarded, absurdly cautious approach to his work, which would end up stifling his latent genius.
I was free with every road as my home. No limitations and no commitments. But then summer passed and winter came and I fell short for safety. I fell for its spell, slowly humming me to sleep, because I was tired and small, too weak to take or handle those opinions and views, attacking me from every angle. Against my art, against my self, against my very way of living. I collected my thoughts, my few possessions and built isolated walls around my values and character. I protected my own definition of beauty and success like a treasure at the bottom of the sea, for no one saw what I saw, or felt the same as I did, and so I wanted to keep to myself. You hide to protect yourself.
نحن لا يمكن أن نجبر فناناً على أن يعمل بخلاف ما تمليه عليه طبيعته وإلا كنا نجبره على التصنع والتكلف، وهذا شر لا يمكن أن يؤذي الأدب والفن، والمسألة في غاية البساطة مع ذلك، فإذا كنا نتيح للفنان حريته كاملة، فنحن أيضاً أحرار في تقييمنا للأعمال الفنية، فلا نمنح تقديرنا إلا لمن يقدم لنا العمل الفني الكامل، وهو العمل الفني الرفيع فنياً النافع إنسانياً واجتماعياً