Writing ambition

From Cynthia Ozick:

“One must avoid ambition in order to write. Otherwise something else is the goal: some kind of power beyond the power of language. And the power of language, it seems to me, is the only kind of power a writer is entitled to.”

It’s hard to avoid ambition, isn’t it? We all  aspire to be something more–and that’s a good thing. But to be something specific, best-selling author, for instance. Wanting to be that, desiring only that, well, that’ll eat you alive.

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16 thoughts on “Writing ambition

  1. Rainebug says:

    Thank you for the great perspective on writing ambition. Also, love your header title “Knitting with pencils” that’s great!!

  2. debatterman says:

    These words only reinforce my sense that there is a subtle difference between saying, “I am a writer” and “I wake each day to write.”

  3. elizabeth says:

    Wow. It certainly does make sense. I also think that if we write the best way we know how, that the rest will follow. And if it doesn’t, please don’t go after me! But I think when I am in the writing moment, the words are the best payment. Good find!

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