By John Hertz: Patrick Nielsen Hayden has long said fanwriting is not a “junior varsity” for pro writing. It’s a different artform. And he should know.
Here’s Bernard Shaw.
Amateur art is discredited art in so far only as the amateur is known as the ape of commercial art…. smitten with an infatuate ambition to reproduce … what they see the great professional artists doing…. mostly foredoomed to failure and ridicule. Here and there one of them succeeds, only to be absorbed by the commercial…. But the countryside is full of stout characters with no such folly and no such ambition…. demonstrating that the laughter of fools is as the crackling of thorns under a pot!
Shaw, The Complete Wagnerite (4th ed. 1923; closing paragraph)
Thorns under a pot, Ecclesiastes 7:6