But suddenly I was 29, earning my living as a freelance public-relations writer—an activity I can recommend to no one—and it was increasingly clear that I had better write a novel soon.
(Richard Yates, "Some Very Good Masters", in The New York Times Book Review, 19 April 1981).
I'm currently reading Blake Bailey's Yates biography, A Tragic Honesty: The Life and Work of Richard Yates. Some early trivia:
When Yates died, no-one could find the manuscript he was working on, until eventually it was found in the freezer, where he had it in case of the fire threatened by his non-stop smoking, which had continued even after the advent of the oxygen tanks required to keep him breathing.
Yates was once given a television, which he never plugged in.
As a child, Yates was required for a school class to draw a picture expressing his feelings, for which he submitted a blank piece of paper titled Gloom.