“What I Was Advised to Do—and Didn't”
by F. Scott Fitzgerald, author of The Beautiful and Damned, etc.

“Good morning, Mr. Fitzgerald,” said the man with horn-rimmed spectacles, “I was asked to come down to the copy department and speak to you about writing. I understand that you received $30 for a story. Now I have had five stories in the Saturday Evening Post during the last ten years and I know the game from A to Z. There's nothing in it. It's all right for picking up a little spare cash, but as for making a living at it, it won't do. You're dreaming. It would take ten years before you'd even begin to get a start. In the meanwhile, you'd starve. Take my advice, give up writing and stay at your job.”

I didn't!


NB: When Fitzgerald made his first story sale (“Babes in the Woods” to The Smart Set in 1919), he was employed by the Barron Collier advertising agency.

Published in Philadelphia Public Ledger magazine (22 April 1922).

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