Francois Truffaut said:
I have always preferred the reflection of life to life itself. If I opted for books and films from the age of eleven or twelve, it was certainly because I preferred seeing life through books and films.
While I relate closely to this (books and films saved my life as a child), I think he’s deceived by a false dichotomy. What we experience in books and films is no more a reflection of life than what we experience in the street, at work, in the kitchen or the bathroom. One is not the thing itself, nor the other its reflection. Both are real, and both are reflections. Stories arise from life, and make it possible to live and understand life.
I’ve written before about how ego is as toxic to art as it is to life.
I remembered this recently when a person struggling with fear told me, “Ever since I was a child, I’ve wanted to be a writer.” Not wanted to write, but wanted to be a writer. I think perhaps wanting to be something and wanting to do something are antithetical, and we must choose one or the other. I’m certain no peace can be found in the former.