Reading Kevin Bazzana's biography of Glenn Gould; it was clear that, despite being a musician of genius, Glenn Gould was prone to the same kind of unrealistic fantasies as the rest of us.
In his case it was being a composer. From the beginning of his career (aged about 15) through to the end of his life, Gould would talk about his intention of composing - yet he finished only one piece - a string quartet, written in his twenties.
Over a span of 35 years, nothing else substantive got further than announcements, concepts and sketches - despite that for 18 of these years he had retired from concert life, ostensibly in order to have time and energy for composition.
I emphasise 'being' a composer - because it was pretty clear that it was more this that Gould wanted than the actual business of writing music. He wanted to 'be' a composer, rather than 'doing' composing.
Bazzana, through his analysis of the string quartet and the sketches, is convinced that Gould lacked the ability to be a significant composer*. On the one hand he lacked the creative drive in that direction, as evidenced by his inertia; and on the other hand he lacked sufficient compositional technique for writing the kind of complex contrapuntal music he was most drawn to, and did nothing to acquire it - he did not study or take lessons.
Yet, somehow, Gould didn't want to give-up on this fantasy - and kept-on, even in later life, implying that a compositional breakthrough was just around the corner...
I find this interesting; and it happens a lot - including at the lower levels of ordinary non-genius folk including myself and my friends and colleagues. Many people have a tendency to undervalue what they can do and hanker after what they cannot; and many of these take the hankering no further than vague aspiration, yet fail to draw the conclusion that their daydream is thereby invalidated.
This can, in some people, have serious consequences - such as a wasted life. It is, I believe, a deep fault of character; which ought to be recognised and repented - because it is a species of avoidance by self-dishonesty.
It amounts to living a lie.
*On the other hand, Bazzana demonstrates that Gould was genuinely compositional - and in a musical way - in his radio 'documentaries'. If you do not know these, I would strongly recommend the 'Solitude Trilogy'. For this blog's readers, perhaps the third would be the best to start-with: The Quiet in the Land (1977) is about the Mennonites in 'modern' Canada. I was later inspired to attempt this genre myself.