Writing motivations: Ambition and Hope

“How does one keep on writing knowing that you might never reach the level of the great writers?

You hope that your next work will take you to a level slightly higher. Faulkner says in one of his interviews ‘If you were satisfied with what you wrote, there is nothing more to do than cut your throat and quit”. Shakespeare, Donne etc existed so that I may learn from them and attempt to be better. And you have to have the ambition. There is a letter where Keats says ‘what is the point of doing anything unless you are the very best’ and he very nearly was. Hart Crane the American poet of the early 20th century, says at the age of 22 that ‘nine tenths of anything you can think of writing has already been done much better than you ever will do’ so it’s no use simply repeating those same old things unless you can find a style in which you can do it in a way it has never been done before.”

From” http://thefridaytimes.com

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