"I don't want just words.
If that is all you have for me,
you'd better go."
- F. Scott Fitzgerald
Ghost of Fitzgerald here.
Call me Scott.
Hemingway does ... among other things that Clemens and Wilde give him hell for.
That's what the profession of writing is ... odd.
You strive to entertain your reader, to make him have fun.
Yet, that is the one thing you must seldom do while in the course of writing:
Zelda and I burned ourselves up in our pursuit of fun.
After all, parties kept us from the looming empty page demanding to be filled with absorbing prose.
Too much frivolous diversion tricks you
into thinking your surface detail actually constitutes good prose.
I’m afraid the price for doing professional work is a good deal higher
than most are prepared to pay at present.
You’ve got to sell your heart, your strongest reactions,
not the little minor things that only touch you lightly, the little experiences that you might tell at dinner.
This is especially true when you begin to write,
when you have not yet developed the tricks of creating interesting people on paper.
Good writing comes from desperate and radical expedients
like tearing your first tragic love story out of your heart and putting it on pages for people to see.
That is the price of admission.
Do not be morose over this.
“For what it’s worth... it’s never too late,
or in my case too early,
to be whoever you want to be.
There’s no time limit.
Start whenever you want.
You can change
or stay the same.
There are no rules to this thing.
We can make the best or the worst of it.
I hope you make the best of it.
I hope you see things that startle you.
I hope you feel things you’ve never felt before.
I hope you meet people who have a different point of view.
I hope you live a life you’re proud of,
and if you’re not,
I hope you have the courage to start over again.”
- your friend, Scott