Leon Botstein, the composer, says you can't plan your breakthroughs. You just have to keep plugging away, and wait, and hope.
"Breakthrough is not when you want it, it's not when you expect it. It's a function of the constant activity. It is only the constant activity that generates the breakthrough."
And what causes the constant activity? It's not money. It's not glory. It's an "inner necessity," he says. Unless you have this inner necessity to create, you'll probably never do anything of brilliance, Botstein believes.
"Without constant, almost irrational, obsessive engagement, you'll never make the breakthrough," he says. "The difference between you and the person you consider great is not raw ability. It's the inner obsessiveness. The inability to stop thinking about it. It's a form of madness."
So this is what separates the great ones from the rest of the world. It is not simply that they are smarter, savvier, more brilliant. They are geniuses because they can't stand to be anything else.
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Friday, November 16, 2007
Vintage article from Joel Achenbach: