"A vital aspect of self-support is reminding yourself that success is not a measure but a feeling. You can wake up, walk straight to your computer, write for two hours on your novel, and feel successful for that day — if you care to feel successful. You can wake up, go to your day job, put in eight hours there, come home, and do a tiny thing in support of your creative life, and call your day successful — if you choose to. You can accept yourself, call yourself the beauty in life, and feel successful for having taken your side and not opposed yourself — if you decide to. You can make peace with the facts of existence, let go of your anger and sadness, and feel successful for having chosen life.

"Creators who do not habituate themselves to feeling successful have no chance at success. To acquire this feeling, you must have a long heart-to-heart talk with yourself and convince yourself that it is in your own best interests to stop measuring success and to start feeling successful. Having convinced yourself, you offer yourself ongoing support by reminding yourself at every opportunity to feel successful: because you painted for an hour, because you finished a poem, or for no reason whatsoever.

"What may rob you of the chance to support yourself? Depression itself. When you're depressed, you don't feel much like supporting yourself. The world looks gloomy, your thoughts are confused and negative, you feel irritated and low in energy, few activities give you pleasure, and sadness colors everything. Whatever the cause of your depression, the mere fact of it robs you of your ability to support yourself.

"But usually a ray of hope remains. It is on this ray of hope that you must pin everything. It is by virtue of this ray of hope that you seek out medical attention and, as a great many creators do, discover that pharmaceutical antidepressants can be a lifesaver. It is by virtue of this ray of hope that you seek out psychotherapy, find (if you are lucky) a wise, supportive practitioner, and begin to repair yourself. It is by virtue of this ray of hope that you find the wherewithal to take steps in the direction of accomplishing the tasks I've been describing."