A Writer's aspiration: What connects King and Fitzgerald

by Sydney Franklin


In last week's issue of The New Yorker, Adam Gopnik produced a piece on the new books circling around the lives of Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald. He recounts the famous writer's battle with the written word – how it was easy and then, not-so-easy, to write at times. The last paragraph stood out to me as a testament to what even Stephen King, in his book On Writing, means about this creative art of ours.

"There is very little second-rate champagne in Fitzgerald. He lives in his sentences, which is where writing lives, in sentences and human sympathy...Writers are sentenced to their sentences, which sometimes set them free." - Gopnik

King had the same idea when he said that we are prisoners of our work as writing can be a frustrating but fulfilling process. It can set us back and it can set us free.

"You can, you should, and if you're brave enough to start, you will. Writing is magic, as much the water of life as any other creative art. The water is free. So drink. Drink and be filled up. 

"Put your desk in the corner, and every time you sit down there to write, remind yourself why it isn't in the middle of the room. Life isn't a support-system for art. It's the other way around."