Big Jim Coetzee again, this time on the relationship between success and failure in love and art. From Youth. It's too familiar!
"...he is afraid: afraid of writing, afraid of women. He may pull faces at the poems he reads in Ambit and Agenda, but at least they are there, in print, in the world. How is he to know that the men who wrote them did not spend years squirming as fastidiously as he in front of the blank page? They squirmed, but then finally they pulled themselves together and wrote as best they could what had to be written, and mailed it out, and suffered the humiliation of rejection or the equal humiliation of seeing their effusions in cold print, in all their poverty... What more is required than a kind of stupid, insensitive doggedness, as lover, as writer, together with a readiness to fail and fail again."