For some unknown reason we got in to a wrangle about – of all things! – best sellers. All aspiring writers say these things : “ I will not compromise and write a best seller! “ – as if they could!. There may be a few totally faked-up books that sell, but on the whole I believe every writer writes as well as he can. It takes a good story teller to write a best seller, and a good craftsman. The professional will never brush the best seller aside as something he could do if he were willing to compromise. No, it is all a matter of kinds of perception, and of kinds of writing. Very great writers – Dickens, Joyce, Trollope, Hemingway – have been best sellers. And very great writers – Virginia Woolf, for example have not, or only by chance.

We do the best we can and hope for the best knowing that “the best” so far as selling goes, is a matter of chance. The only thing that is not chance is what one asks of oneself and how well or how hardly one meets one’s own standards.

- May Sarton