Who out there is ambitious about their writing? Who wants to write a blockbuster novel or pen a Hollywood screenplay?
I don’t expect anyone will admit to it. That’s okay, I get it. No one really wants to engage when the topic of ambition rears its ugly head. It all seems a bit seedy and needy. Frankly, if you have any sense of dignity, it’s quite embarrassing to be ambitious these days. I think the ambitions of the average freelance writer have been pushed underground by the unending stream of wannabe shows on TV, such as American Idol and X-Factor. I know these are singing contests, but I think they cast a dark shadow across artistic ambition in general. I’d rather tell someone I’m off to an AA meeting than say I have a writers’ group to attend.
It means the world to me. It means everything to me. It’s all I’ve ever wanted. I was meant to do this. I was born to do this. I want it more than anything. I want it more than anyone. This is my destiny.
Yawn. It’s even more farcical when these words are uttered from the mouths of twelve and thirteen year-olds.
It’s all I’ve ever wanted my whole life.
Your whole life? Whole life? You’re a child! Go to school! Play with toys! Pick your nose! Stop trying to be Justin Beiber!
Actually, my daughter mentioned his name the other day and I didn’t quite hear it. I honestly thought she said “just an amoeba”. Pretty much sums up the average wannabe’s brain-cell count.
The sad thing is, I was the same with my acting, and with my writing in the early days. Oh, how I must have bored people to tears with my insane hopes for world domination. I really thought I did want it more than anyone. I thought the world would end if I didn’t make it. Or perhaps it would keep rotating, but I would have no interest in the fameless days that lay ahead. I was wrong. Young people often are. In my defence, back then, the TV shows to inform me I was merely one of the deluded millions did not exist.
I’m not down on ambition. I sort of miss mine. People will always be ambitious. Young people especially. Ambition is one of those things that puts the folly in the folly of youth, and youth ain’t no fun without a good dose of folly. There’s nothing wrong with ambition. It can lend a cause to your life that makes it truly exciting. But you need to have perspective. You need to know that the fun is in the chase, and people who chase things don’t always catch them. And even if they do, they may be a tad disappointed when they inspect the thing they finally caught up with.
It’s a lazy Sunday. Spain is still hot and I have a choice. I could start a novel or I could go to the beach.