A Must-Read For Aspiring Writers

I cannot tell a lie, I’m not a huge fan of the horror genre. And by not a fan I mean not at all. The Black Swan was scary enough for me. But I’m reading a book by Stephen King that I literally can’t put down, and I’m pretty sure it’s a must-read for all aspiring writers.

It’s simply called On Writing and it’s basically Stephen talking about his childhood, how he became a writer, the early stages of his career, and his writing process. Books like this have a tendency to get boring reallyyy quickly, but Stephen keeps it funny, laced with profanity, and brief. The book is a quick read, but a really interesting and informative one. He doesn’t blab on and on about character development. It’s more about how he came up with the idea for Carrie when he did a brief turn as a janitor in a high school. The idea for the book struck him as he cleaned the girls’ locker room. He then tells you about two girls from his own high school class who inspired the Carrie character. Like a good author, he shows not tells and thus leaves you captivated.  Even if you’re not a fan of his books necessarily, it’s pretty fascinating to read about how a best-selling author operates, and to read about how he got to where he is.

There’s something reassuring about the fact that even an author of King’s stature had a stack of rejection letters and a lot of debt before he made it big. Throughout the book, he reinforces the importance of the writing process and the persistence that you have to have to make it.

I’m only about a quarter of the way through the book, but I absolutely love two quotes I read. Like, “write them down and tape them to my mirror” kind of love. They go a little something like this:

“Writing is a lonely job. Having someone who believes in you makes a lot of difference. They don’t have to give speeches. Just believing is usually enough.”

The other favorite:

“‘When you write a story, you’re telling yourself the story,’ he said, ‘When you rewrite, your main job is taking out all the things that are not the story.'”

If you’re interested in the field (or even just a fan of Stephen King’s) I’d definitely recommend this book.

Click the link below if you want to check out the book on Amazon:

 

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Comments

  1. I literally just got this book as a gift, how funny! I’m enjoying it a lot as well. It’s hugely relieving to hear that someone like THE Stephen King went through the same struggles as many of us do when starting out as writers. It’s definitely a must-read!

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