Shauna Niequist in Cold Tangerines:
I had written a chapter on jealousy, and after I looked at it for a while, it seemed sort of flat and cartoony. I prayed for a new way to write that chapter, an incisive and honest way to talk about being jealous. And not a week later, wouldn’t you know it, at dinner with some friends, I found out something about a mutual friend of ours that absolutely annihilated me with jealousy. It was a thousand straws that broke a thousand camels’ backs, and I was tumbling around and around with these vicious, terrible jealous feelings, like I was in the spin cycle with a box of rocks. That’s the last time I pray for a good chapter on anything, except being gorgeous or winning the lottery or something. You pray for wonderful, honest, gritty, tender stories to write, but then you have to live through them.
I was thinking maybe a fiction writer would not have this problem, but then I remembered that the ability to convey deep human emotion, even if it is someone else’s, has to come from somewhere.