It is not that I would mind going down in history as an inconsequential writer; it is that I would mind most bitterly going down as a writer who wasted his gifts in drunkenness, sloth, anger, and petulance. I am no longer dealing with the common disadvantages of need, a poorly lighted room, a stomachache. I am dealing with time, with alcohol, and with death.


John Cheever

Journals 1961