Does anyone else have literary ambitions?

Title says it all. Does anyone else dream of being the next David Foster Wallace or Philip Roth whenever they read novels? I was reading some Jonathan Franzen the other day and thought, I could probably write something on par with this. Like Nick Carraway of The Great Gatsby, I went to a top Ivy with dreams of literature, only to shelve that passion for, instead of the bond business, investment banking. Should I just forget these naive dreams and focus on living the life I have? Any advice is appreciated. Thank you.

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Comments (23)

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Aug 13, 2021 - 9:54pm

Thanks, and I suppose you're right, but my ambition isn't necessarily to make money or become best-selling, but rather to win literary awards and become respected in highbrow intellectual/literary circles; the money comes in after.

Aug 14, 2021 - 5:30pm

I don't dream of being the next William Faulkner, but I do have I intentions of writing a book when I'm a bit older. Maybe when I have a beach house or lake house and can look out into the water and think and write.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

Aug 15, 2021 - 12:21pm

Isaiah_53_5 πŸ’ŽπŸ™ŒπŸ’ŽπŸ™ŒπŸ’Ž

I don't dream of being the next William Faulkner, but I do have I intentions of writing a book when I'm a bit older. Maybe when I have a beach house or lake house and can look out into the water and think and write.

If a house on a medium pond came your way, would you settle?

heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

https://arthuxtable.com/
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Aug 16, 2021 - 12:25am

GoldenCinderblock

Isaiah_53_5 πŸ’ŽπŸ™ŒπŸ’ŽπŸ™ŒπŸ’Ž

I don't dream of being the next William Faulkner, but I do have I intentions of writing a book when I'm a bit older. Maybe when I have a beach house or lake house and can look out into the water and think and write.

If a house on a medium pond came your way, would you settle?

Sure but not in Chicago lol

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

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Most Helpful
Aug 15, 2021 - 6:40pm

This is perfectly natural and really a good goal to have. I'm in banking not to have money, but to have the capital necessary to support a later life of writing/film-making/insert-artistic-pursuit.

All these MD's still working at 50+ lack a natural exit from their career and became way too tethered with the golden hand-cuffs. This is not normal! We treat it as normal that people making $2m+ per year are still working, but from my perspective it's kinda psychotic. How could one lack any pursuit beyond a game of high-scores with their money? Banking/PE/HF are the means to an end, rather than the end themselves. Same goes for the kids of ultra-wealthy folks who start their career in banking and stay in the business/finance world for 20+ years. Like, really? You can't think of a single thing better to do with your life than accumulate more of some meaningless number?

That said, reading a top author like Franzen and thinking you could write something like that is hopelessly naive lmao. Many many people try their hand at writing, and 99.9% are absolutely terrible. Having a good literary voice, solid drive to consistently write, being well-read enough to build upon past literary works, having something worth saying, and overarching literary talent are each pretty fucking rare, and it's exceedingly rare to find them all in one person. Hence the lack of many good authors. If you're straight and white that makes it 10x harder as well, because publishing is utterly dominated by liberal women.

Aug 17, 2021 - 2:19pm

"If you're straight and white that makes it 10x harder as well, because publishing is utterly dominated by liberal women."

Recently went through the literary agent process for my book....probably 80% of the agents are women. Got 4 full manuscript reads for my fairly male-driven investment banking novel....all those agents were male and not obviously liberal in their bios. Coincidence?

  • Associate 2 in RE - Res
Aug 15, 2021 - 8:22pm

Creative writing is going to be taken over by language model AI software in the next few years. Read some of the stuff that GPT-3 has come up with. At its best, it's jaw-dropping. At the very least, the entire activity of writing will be dramatically altered.

I know this might sound weird if you're not up on what's been happening in this area recently, but I'm serious.Β 

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Aug 15, 2021 - 9:38pm

As an english major working in IB, I have goals to work enough early on that I can retire and work on poetry in seclusion. Would love to write a novel as well.

Aug 16, 2021 - 10:24am

Would you consider combining your interests?Β  Using your knowledge of finance to write compelling analyses or content for an investment start-up?Β 

Aug 16, 2021 - 11:09am

Absolutely, though not on fiction. That is brutally hard unless you've trained for it for many, many years and given extremely high volume of content released these days (vs. back in the day of Shakepsear where there just wasn't that much being published) it's harder than ever to break out

My ambitions are in writing non-fiction pieces, ideally related to investing as I gain mastery over the craft (which I am a very long way away from) - might be investing process, end-to-end research process, factors to look for in various types of businesses, psychological hacks, etc. Otherwise, would love to do dedicated research on certain industries / spaces that appeal & maybe write something there. Would be nice to write something timeless like Common Stocks & Uncommon Profits or some of the stuff Nassim Taleb has put outΒ 

Aug 17, 2021 - 2:14pm

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Aug 18, 2021 - 8:18am

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