November 7, 2009

The Cream Rises to the Top ... Or Does It?

Last night between shows on the AMC movie channel, a director came on and talked about Ed Burns’s first effort at directing, The Brothers McMullen. He said that Burns’s big break was having his father have a connection in the biz and passing the tape along so that that director viewed it. The director said something to the effect of “Talent always rises to the top. It will always get its chance in the spotlight.”

I lay for a long time after shutting off the TV thinking about this. Did I actually believe it? Laying aside the question of whether or not I actually have talent, do I believe that those who have talent will eventually be noticed if they stick it out long enough? I finally decided that I don’t know whether that’s true or not, but it’s something I have to believe. Otherwise, what’s the point? Sure, writing is a reward unto itself, and it keeps me sane, but I also believe that the urge to write stems from a need to be heard, a feeling that you haven’t been heard. Therefore, implicit in writing is the desire to publish, to put it out there.

It’s sort of like the up-by-your-bootstraps American dream, and I actually don’t believe that the American Dream is true. It's a myth. I believe that it takes lots of luck and lots of help from others, in addition to hard work and dedication, to make it big. Maybe this contradicts my previous paragraph, I don’t know.

We must all have our illusions.

What I’m Reading Today: About to start a manuscript of a friend of mine’s, a zombie novel. I’m very excited!

4 comments:

Pembroke said...

Oh, it would be nice to think that the cream always rises to the top, but I think it's more a game of who you know. I say that because of all the stars who get books published who probably didn't write them. Of course, if you don't put yourself out there and try, you'll never know!

Tamara said...

I guess we'll just have to hedge our bets by perservering, networking, giving favors, calling in favors, writing lots, and sacrificing a live chicken every full moon!

Tamara said...

PS Are ya bustin' my bubble? :-)

Pembroke said...

I'M not bursting your bubble, it's the voices in my head that are doing that!