On the effort of writing

From Chekhov's The Seagull

[Trigorin]: ... I'm obsessed with the idea of writing. I've no choice ... As soon as I finish one story, I feel a compulsion to write another, and a third, and a fourth ... I can't stop, I'm driven. There's nothing I can do about it. Tell me, what's so beautiful, what's so wonderful about that? Mad is more like it. Here I am with you and all excited, but not for an instant can I forget I have an unfinished story waiting for me. I look up and see that cloud in the shape of a grand piano, and I say to myself, "I'll have to use that somewhere in a story: 'A grand piano of a cloud drifted by.' " I notice the scent of heliotrope in the air and make a mental note: "Cloying fragrance, widowlike; use for describing a summer evening." I can't let a sentence, a word go by -- yours or my own -- without locking it up in my literary larder: it may just come in handy. [...] I'm devouring my own life, and for the honey I pass on to an anonymous public I'm robbing my best flowers of their pollen. No, worse: I'm pulling them up and trampling on their roots. I must be out of my mind."