"But the writer who endures and keeps working will finally know that writing the book was something hard and glorious, for at the desk the writer must try to be free of prejudice, meanness of spirit, pettiness, and hatred; strive to be a better human being than the writer normally is, and to do this through concentration on a single word, and then another, and another. This is splendid work, as worthy and demanding as any, and the will and resilience to do it are good for the writer's soul. If the work is not published, or is published for little money and less public attention, it remains a spiritual, mental, and physical achievement; and if, in public, it is the widow's mite, it is also, like the widow, more blessed." --
Andre Dubus, from "First Books," published in his powerful collection of essays, Meditations from a Moveable Chair, published in 1998, the year before he died.