January 10, 2013

"Nobody ever became a writer just by wanting to be one. If you have anything to say..."

"... anything you feel nobody has ever said before, you have got to feel it so desperately that you will find some way to say it that nobody has ever found before, so that the thing you have to say and the way of saying it blend as one matter — as indissolubly as if they were conceived together."
Let me preach again for one moment: I mean that what you have felt and thought will by itself invent a new style so that when people talk about style they are always a little astonished at the newness of it, because they think that is only style that they are talking about, when what they are talking about is the attempt to express a new idea with such force that it will have the originality of the thought.
ADDED: For comparison: "Something that you feel will find its own form."


Michael E. Lopez said...

So let me get this straight, then: being a writer requires, for the most part, an immense degree of self-deception?


wyo sis said...

No one could say he doesn't love Scottie, yet he makes huge demands of her. The cost of becoming what he is isn't a small one or an easy one, but he demands it of her out of love.
When we make things easy for people or don't demand their best is it love we show or is it more like indifference?

traditionalguy said...

Writing are hard.

traditionalguy said...

Fitzgerald is right that our emotions are what push us along to do communications with others. And you, dear Professor, are the best thing going.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

Meggie Mac agrees, she totally feels like exactly like this describes about her writing.

Well, her and her partners' writing.

mikee said...

The Gormenghast trilogy is composed of three very long books full of murder, adventure and intrigue at the end of which, on the very last page if I recall correctly, the protagonist turns his back on the whole thing and just... leaves.

I suspect the author realized his vision was flawed and should not have been expressed on paper at all.

I know, however, that both I, and the only other person I know who read it, threw the third book across the room at the end, disgusted at the lousy trick the author has played on the reader.

edutcher said...

Didn't Seneca say, "Nothing is said which has not been said before"?

It's not what, it's how it's said.

ricpic said...

In a practical matter of fact lean world that doesn't make a big megilla out of artists and writers there is a better chance that the few writers who face that indifference and financial precariousness and keep on keeping on writing, there is a better chance that the few that survive that indifference will be the real thing than will the writers who come out of a world so affluent that it can support writing programs and writers in residence at universities.

Robert Cook said...

"So let me get this straight, then: being a writer requires, for the most part, an immense degree of self-deception?"

What did Fitzgerald say that expresses this point?