"Medium and form you have utterly neglected."
Jack London, in 1914, replies to a letter and manuscript from an aspiring young writer.
Honestly and frankly, I did not enjoy it for its literary charm or value. In the first place, it has little literary value and practically no literary charm. Merely because you have got something to say that may be of interest to others does not free you from making all due effort to express that something in the best possible medium and form. Medium and form you have utterly neglected.
London wasn't being harsh just for the hell of it, but instead to drive home the point that the writer was young, inexperienced and due for several more years of "apprenticeship" before even thinking about getting his work published. That last line ("I can meet you to the last limit of brass tacks, and hammer some facts of life into you that possibly so far have escaped your own experience.") is particularly appropriate. I didn't start writing until my late thirties, but don't really regret the time lost from not writing earlier - at twenty-five I had neither the life experience or maturity to write anything worthwhile.
Maddie and I are currently reading White Fang at bedtime. I hadn't read the book since I was roughly her age, but it's just as great as I remembered it.