"'Someday ... there will be a story you want to tell for no better reason than because it matters to you more than any other. You'll give up this business of delivering what everybody tells you to do. You'll stop looking over your shoulder to make sure you're keeping everybody happy, and you'll simply write what's real and true.'"
In her memoir At Home in the World,
Joyce Maynard attributes these words to JD Salinger, based on a
discussion they had during her year-long involvement with him. The
conversation in question was about the direction her writing was taking.
especially writing for publication, can get all tangled up in shoulds
and oughts and approval seeking and market chasing. If we get lost
sometimes, it can be good to touch home base by asking what matters to
us, what we find to be real and true.