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“It is my considered opinion that one reason you are not writing is that you are allowing yourself to read in the time set aside to write. You ought to set aside three hours every morning in which you write or do nothing else; no reading, no talking, no cooking, no nothing, but you sit there. If you write all right and if you don’t all right, but you do not read; whether you start something different every day and finish nothing makes no difference; you sit there. It’s the only way, I’m telling you. If inspiration comes you are there to receive it, you are not reading. And don’t write letters during that time. If you don’t write, don’t do anything else. And get in a room by yourself. If there are two rooms in that house, get in the one where nobody else is…”

letter to Cecil Dawkins, November 12, 1960, in The Habit of Being: The Letters of Flannery O’Connor, ed. by Sally Fitzgerald (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1979), 417–18.
Quality Quote Collecting