Sarah Guillory – On Growth

My friend Sarah Guillory posted this on her blog yesterday, but I liked it so much I asked for her permission to repost it here. Because I wanted a copy. 🙂

I could comment on the timeliness and the insight of what Sarah wrote, but I’d rather just let you read it and see for yourself. Without any further ado, I give you Sarah Guillory’s thoughts On Growth:

(c) Disney ABC Television Group

I’m not a huge fan of the Oscars. I do appreciate artists, those who work and hone their craft, and I am always glad to see that celebrated, as well as disappointed when it isn’t. This is not going to be a long rant on the state of Hollywood, as I know absolutely nothing of the state of Hollywood. But what I have noticed since the Oscars is frequent comments, namely on Twitter, that make me believe that we as a society have failed to grasp the notion of growth.

When Anne Hathaway won, I saw over and over again how an Oscar just went to the girl from Ella Enchanted or The Princess Diaries and isn’t that appalling and horrendous. No, actually, it’s what should happen.

I don’t know where we got this notion that a person – and their talent – is stagnant or frozen. Artists, whether they are actors, painters, musicians, or writers, have to start somewhere. And I don’t believe they are born incredibly talented yet remain undiscovered until finally bursting out into the world fully-formed and incredible. Yes, some do. But most begin with a passion for something. They work hard at this passion, and over the years, they improve.

This is how it should be.

So no, I’m not surprised to see someone grow and improve in their craft. I’m impressed. No, I would not be surprised if someone wrote fill-in-the-blank-with-the-genre-you-think-is-trash novels and then later went on to pen a book that won the National Book Award. That is what growth is.

True artists work hard at their craft, seeking to improve it with each new work. Some of them start out way beyond where the rest of us will ever be. But that doesn’t mean they should stay there. I don’t care where an artist begins – what I want to see is their journey, the way they learn from each work they produce and go on to make it better, more meaningful, different.

I want to see passion translated into hard work and success, whatever that looks like.

I want to see someone become a master of their craft by meeting each day with the idea that they will give a little more of themselves and be a little better than they were the day before.

I want to see Ella Enchanted go on to win an Oscar.

2 thoughts on “Sarah Guillory – On Growth

  1. Donelle Lacy

    Hear, hear!

    I think society is so caught up in labeling people and placing them in a little box from which they can't escape or reinvent themselves or grow, that it has trouble acknowledging when those things actually happen. I'm completely with Sarah on encouraging growth. It made me think of how kids in school label each other and tease each other based on things that are ultimately going to change and how surprised they are when that kid they teased becomes successful. It all comes down to jealousy because someone made it and someone else thinks they didn't deserve it. If individuals were happier in their own pursuits and lives, then we might see less of this. We shouldn't try to destroy the things that grow, we should take heart that those things could happen for us too.


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