When I am working really hard every day for hours upon end and then feeling a little guilty for escaping to read or wander or meet friends, I will remember this:

Writing the breakout novel demands a commitment to life. How can you engage readers in your fictional world if you, the author, are not engaged by your own world? To write about life, you must live it. You cannot make readers cry or feel joy until you have wept and exulted yourself.

— from Writing The Breakout Novel by Donald Maass