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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Ambition Comes in All Sizes

Admit your ambitions. You want to be not only a writer but an author. Authors exude prestige while writers simply perspire. I suspect your ambition drives your efforts to write and to gain fame as an author. Ambition motivates, which means it is not necessarily a bad thing.

However, note the difference between Ambition and ambition. If you have ambition with a capital “A,” you probably aspire to write “The Great American Novel” or at least a bestseller that knocks Dan Brown off his perch.

You and I are more likely to admit to more modest ambitions. Currently, I am writing stories about my childhood that may be of interest to other family members. These “gifts of memory” can be valued family legacies and most people can write them successfully. A little higher up the modest ambitions scale is the desire to see your byline in a national magazine. National publication requires a lot of work and a little luck, but for those who study the writing craft, it's possible.

Perhaps your ambition is to make some money as a writer. You are unlikely to rack up royalties that match J. K. Rowlings’s millions. However, you may, as one published author put it, earn at least as much the guys who hang drywall.

Whether modest or out-sized, your ambitions will spur you to work harder and produce more. As for the results, only a fool predicts other people's failure. Don’t be deterred from your ambitious goals. Dream then; achieve them.

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