Continuing on a theme of Fitzgerald…
To have something to say is a question of sleepless nights and worry and endless ratiocination of subject – of endless trying to dig out the essential truth, the essential justice. As a first premise you have to develop a conscience and if on top of that you have talent so much the better. But if you have talent without the conscience, you are just one of many thousands of journalists.
–F. Scott Fitzgerald
And one more companionable thought:
The writing itself is no big deal. The editing, and even more than that, the self-doubt, is excruciatingly impossible. Profound, bottomless self-doubt: it has no value, what’s the point? In a way, that takes up as much time as anything else.
–Jonathan Safran Foer
All of this of course maps over into the other métiers. “Profound, bottomless self-doubt” takes up space in painting, poetry and music just as easily as it does prose.