STORYTELLERS UNPLUGGED – Ambition
by Mort Castle
If you wish to succeed as a writer, you have to have ambition. You’ve heard that before. Of course, there are some dissenting voices to be heard:
Ambition is the last refuge of failure.
It is the constant fault and inseparable evil quality of ambition, that it never looks behind it.
Ambition often puts men upon doing the meanest offices: so climbing is performed in the same posture with creeping.
It should go without saying, but I am going to say it: a writer has to have talent. Of course, there are different ways to look at talent.
If I have ever made any valuable discoveries, it has been owing more to patient attention, than to any other talent.
Talent alone cannot make a writer. There must be a man behind the book.
–Ralph Waldo Emerson
As writers, we know that we must strive for originality.
About the most originality that any writer can hope to achieve honestly is to steal with good judgment.
No question, though, if you unite ambition, talent, and originality, why, writer, you can make… ART! You can be an ARTIST!
Fashion is a potency in art, making it hard to judge between the temporary and the lasting.
–E. C. Stedman
The people who make art their business are mostly imposters.
Well, maybe we don’t want to aim that high. We’ll settle for just entertaining, right?
The only way to amuse some people is to slip and fall on an icy pavement.
And let’s not forget, as writers we have the opportunity to teach–and there are many interesting lessons we can provide:
I teach that all men are mad.
To be good is noble, but to teach others how to be good is nobler—and less trouble.
He who can, does. He who cannot, teaches.
–George Bernard Shaw
But no matter how you view it, writing is a great business.
Every compulsion is put upon writers to become safe, polite, obedient, and sterile.
Writing is the only profession where no one considers you ridiculous if you earn no money.
Hope you’ve enjoyed these words about words, my words of wisdom for this installment of STORYTELLERS UNPLUGGED.
Cleverness is not wisdom.
Oh, yeah? Sez who?