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Robert E. Howard

I became a writer in spite of my environments.

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I have not been a success, and probably never will be.

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I have accomplished little enough, but such as it is, it is the result of my own efforts.

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It seems to me that many writers, by virtue of environments of culture, art and education, slip into writing because of their environments.

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Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing.

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I had neither expert aid nor advice. I studied no courses in writing; until a year or so ago, I never read a book by anybody advising writers how to write.

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The people among which I lived - and yet live, mainly - made their living from cotton, wheat, cattle, oil, with the usual percentage of business men and professional men.

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But the idea of a man making his living by writing seemed, in that hardy environment, so fantastic that even today I am sometimes myself assailed by a feeling of unreality.

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Never the less, at the age of fifteen, having never seen a writer, a poet, a publisher or a magazine editor, and having only the vaguest ideas of procedure, I began working on the profession I had chosen.

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But whatever my failure, I have this thing to remember - that I was a pioneer in my profession, just as my grandfathers were in theirs, in that I was the first man in this section to earn his living as a writer.

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