A true friend doesn’t have guts; they beat you up and later plead with you to beat them back.

writing is like being in love. You never get better at it or learn more about it. The day you think you do is the day you lose it. Robert Frost called his work a lover’s quarrel with the world. It’s ongoing. It has neither a beginning nor an end. You don’t have to worry about learning things. The fire of one’s art burns all the impurities from the vessel that contains it.

Don’t say to yourself, ‘Everyone argues!’ to justify and normalise your fighting, when the most natural thing is to love.

Listen, Harriet. I do unterstand. I know you don’t want either to give or to take … You don’t want ever again to have to depend for happiness on another person.”

“That’s true. That’s the truest thing you ever said.”

“All right. I can respect that. Only you’ve got to play the game. Don’t force an emotional situation and then blame me for it.”

“But I don’t want any situation. I want to be left in peace.

A deep breath is a technique with which we minimize the number of instances where we say what we do not mean … or what we really think.