Of course, as far as my ambitions went their objects were all right in themselves. There is nothing wrong in being a writer or a poet- at least I hope there is not: but the harm lies in wanting to be one for the gratification of one's own ambitions, and merely in order to bring oneself up to the level demanded by his own internal self-idolatry. Because I was writing for myself and for the world, the things I wrote were rank with the passions of selfishness and sin from which they sprang. An evil tree brings forth evil fruits, when it brings forth fruit at all."
-Thomas Merton, The Seven Storey Mountain (231)