Page 229 “in New York, it was culture consupmtion. You listened to the music so you could be an expert on it. Everything had a purpose that related back to status.” In New York, people engage in a sociology experiment on what life is. In New Orleans, people live their lives."
Page 231 “Being competetive was a default subsitute for following her dream. Being better than others was a default substitute for being true to herself.”
“. . . but she still couldn’t summon the courage to have a go at writing. What would it mean to fail at the thing you really want to do? What would be left to dream about?”
Page 232 “She started writing and editing for free and it always evolved into paying work.”
Page 233 “The benefit of being around like minded people” I can’t emphasize enough the sway of being in a community of like minded people."
p 236 “Did we believe in each oterh? Here and there, but not across the board. You would assume that’s necessary, but it’s not. The talent doesn’t have to shine from the outset. Most people will perform if given a chance and a few role models.”
p 237 “I’ve learned that without structure, I become unstable and self-destructive fairly quickly.”
“But the structure and routine it provides keep me sane. I’m absent-minded, forget to pay my bills, can’t return phone calls, forget birthdays — … But now I think there is no excuse for not taking care of myself or treating others with decency.”
“Inevitably, getting into an environment of like-minded people, . . . inevitably, it means you have to ditch your old support system, family or friends. …the seat you’ve saved for them at your Inner Circle has to be given to someone new.”
p 240 Traveling, “…exposing yourself to how other people live loosens the mind. ‘look how happy they are with so little money’ for instance.”
p 266 "Do not wait for the kind of clarity that comes with epiphanies. In the nine hundred plus stories I heard in my research, almost nobody was struck with an epiphany. It was one of my biggest surprises. Most people had a slim notion or a slight urge that they slowly nurtured until it grew into a faint hope which barely stayed alive for years until it could mature into a vision. Most people feel guilty about wanting what they want, and they feel foolish for wanting something impossible, and those censoring voices will bark like a pack of junkyard dogs, night after night. Don’t doubt your desire because it comes to you as a whisper; don’t think, “If it were really important to me, I’d feel clearer about this, less conflicted.” My research didn’t show that to be true. The things we really want to do are usually the ones that scare us the most. The things you’ll not feel conflicted about are the choices that leave no one hurt.