an obsession is terrible

from: ernest hemingway
to: charles scribner
1940

charlie, there is no future in anything. i hope you agree. that is why i like it at a war. every day and every night there is a strong possibility that you will get killed and not have to write. i have to write to be happy whether i get paid for it or not. but it is a hell of a disease to be born with. i like to do it. which is even worse. that makes it from a disease into a vice. then i want to do it better than anybody has ever done it which makes it into an obsession. an obsession is terrible. hope you haven’t gotten any. that’s the only one i’ve got left.

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