"Writing is a skill, not a talent, and thus one's ability as a writer can be improved by thoughtful effort. The problem with some people is that they graduate college as good writers, experience early success on account of that, and thus never devote themselves diligently to the relentless quest for improvement that could make them great writers."
". . . As it happened, the van wheezed its way to our house, and as Walt and I shook hands, him accepting 25 bucks with a huge smile, it was impossible not to reflect on the state of the economy and how men of ostensible good will had fallen off the grid, with no upside on the horizon. My son berated me, claiming that the hobo might've had a gun and stuck us up, but I told him to hush his mouth and go read a book. . . ."