Francis Spufford on Success

Ambition or talent: which matters more to success?

I suppose there must be an irreducible minimum of talent required to make things with words, but after that a lot of it is learnt skills, and a willingness to go on playing with patterns. You also need, if not ambition, then chutzpah: an unreasonable determination to do it because you want to. You can’t be authorised to write books. You have to appoint yourself to it.

~ Francis Spufford / Financial Times, October 13, 2017