Not only can we learn things about the world around us, but we can also learn about ourselves from certain quotes. Since writers work with words for a living, oftentimes their written quotes hold a weight to them and wisdom that we can draw from.
Any man who keeps working is not a failure. He may not be a great writer, but if he applies the old-fashioned virtues of hard, constant labor, he’ll eventually make some kind of career for himself as writer.
– Ray Bradbury
This is a quote that appeals to me personally, because I believe in the results of hard work. What I think this addresses, and in a most brilliant way, is the difference between having a gift and passion. Some people are gifted at art, at music, at writing, or even at science, math, anything. Not that work takes no time, but their genius springs forth even in rudimentary stages, and oftentimes doesn’t require the disciplines it would from most others.
However, same as with any gift, it can be used or squandered. There are many writers who have a gift and potential to be great, but either have other priorities, or don’t care to pursue. Or, don’t have the discipline of one who’s had to work at it for a long time.
On the other hand, anyone can learn a craft, given enough time, work, and passion. Those three factors are of vital importance, because otherwise, it’ll be another abandoned pursuit. The people who achieve their writing success via hard work rather than a natural gift of it though have the tools developed to make a career out of it, because they’ve formed the necessary disciplines. A career requires regularity, not writing when the ‘muse inspires.’ Try that excuse with a boss at your day job and watch you get laughed out of the place.
While that might take some of the romantic whimsy out of writing, I do think it’s a valuable quote for people in the field, because those who are determined and passionate, those who have their goal in mind, will utilize it to further their agenda of continuing to hone their craft and write until they become truly great.