Writing is difficult. You do it all alone without encouragement and without any certainty that you’ll ever be published or paid or even that you’ll be able to finish the particular work you’ve begun. It isn’t easy to persist amid all that. […] Sometimes when I’m interviewed, the interviewer either compliments me on my ‘talent’, my 'gift’ or asks me how I discovered it. […] I used to struggle to answer this politely, to explain that I didn’t believe much in writing talent. People who want to write either do it or they don’t. At last I began to say that my most important talent - or habit - was persistence. Without it, I would have given up writing long before I finished my first novel. It’s amazing what we can do if we simply refuse to give up.
Many boys will bring you flowers. But someday you’ll meet a boy who will learn your favorite flower, your favorite song, your favorite sweet. And even if he is too poor to give you any of them, it won’t matter because he will have taken the time to know you as no one else does. Only that boy earns your heart.
So if you find yourself wondering why so many of us ask to be included now, and put ourselves and others into stories we’ve been written out of, perhaps first ask why that inclusion is considered political, but the erasure was not:
I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re doing something.