How William Faulkner Demonstrated Flexibility With His Talent to Achieve Financial and Career Success

“Always dream and shoot higher than you know you can do. Do not bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself “- William Faulkner

William Faulkner is remembered as a literary icon. As the author of such classic tales as; The sound and the Fury, As I Lay Dying, and Light in August, Faulkner is a Nobel Prize winner for Literature and a two time Pulitzer Prize winner. Having grown up in areas throughout Mississippi, Faulkner enriched his writing with many Southern themes and stream of consciousness narratives. His unique style added an alternate dimension to his method as an author, making him more versatile with his craft. However, despite his obvious talent as a writer, like so many, Faulkner had to deal with the ubiquitous demands of finding the monetary means to feed his family.

“be scared. You can’t help that. But don’t be afraid”- William Faulkner

It was fear that allowed Faulkner to decide to take a different route to reapply his skills to achieve both monetary and career success. It was fear that enabled him to recognize that despite the fact that he was a brilliant writer, novels and publications alone were not enough to support his family. In Faulkner’s case, fear was a signal for change, rather than a debilitating force.

“You cannot swim for new horizons until you have courage to lose sight of the shore”- William Faulkner

Faulkner practiced what he preached as he traded the comforts of his Mississippi home for the bright lights of Hollywood as a screenwriter, for the famous Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studios. From Faulkner’s experience, we can all learn that genuine talent is always transferable and when it is guided by inner principals and passion, success will always be achieved. Ultimately, it was his passion and willingness to take the risk and explore different avenues of expression that resulted in his subsequent success and notoriety. We must all be willing to have the courage to “swim for new horizons” and “lose sight of the shore” in pursuit of our passions. In the same regard, we must also be willing to be flexible with the demonstration of our abilities and be willing to expand our comfort zones and expectations. If Faulkner had not done this, who knows if he would have gained the necessary notoriety to obtain the prestige that he did later in his career.

“An artist is a creature driven by demons. He doesn’t know why they chose him and he’s usually too busy to wonder why”- William Faulkner