All writers are routinely laughed at if they are ambitious - most of us have learned to affect an airy insouciance about huge sales or prizes, in public at least. We prefer to do our wailing and gnashing of teeth in private. But we are ambitious; relentlessly, cringingly so. If we weren't, we wouldn't have become novelists in the first place. Here is what I remember most about being an unpublished novelist - the humiliation, the way everyone thinks they have a right to sneer. You don't survive the sneering unless you are wilfully, stubbornly ambitious.writes Louise Doughty on the Guardian blog, in a piece that's intended as an antidote to Jenny Diski's rather negative take on the lot of a writer which appeared a few days earlier.
The debate about whether creative writing can be taught continues (and of course won't ever be resolved finally, because it can't be) but this podcast Writing by Numbers: Can Creative Writing be Taught with the novelists Fay Weldon, Terence Blacker, Russell Celyn Jones, and Louise Doughty gives some very extremely insights into what such courses involve.
Index : On Creative Writing Courses