Recently I read Stephen King's On Writing, and I have to say, I LOVED it. Not only was his memoir fascinating, inspirational and downright quirky, his advice on writing was excellent. It was simple and down to earth. Previously, I'd read The Right to Write by Julia Cameron, and although it was good, it was also a little too granola and new age for me. Stephen King was much less grand about the whole idea and easier to relate to. He's a realist, and I like that.
One of his main pieces of advice when it came to improving your writing was to just do it a lot. Simple, right? Well, he means A LOT. His suggestion was to read and write for four to six hours a day. Granted, it's not all writing, some of that time can and should be spent reading, but that's still a large block of time. When I first read his advice, I was rather intimidated. After all, I work full time. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized it wasn't that unreasonable. When I considered how much time I spend watching TV, it became rather obvious that I have a lot more time at my disposal than I'd first thought.
So, I'm going to try it. Actually, I started last week, and it went pretty well. There were two days when it just didn't happen, I was too tired, too busy and there just wasn't the time. But on the whole, I was surprised by how easy it was to fit it in. Once I turned off the TV, everything fell into place.
Yesterday was the beginning of week two, and I'm feeling really good. Knowing how much time I need to commit to reading and writing makes me feel more serious, more inspired. I highly suggest that if you haven't read On Writing that you do so immediately. And if you aren't a writer, read it anyway. It's worth it just for his memoir. Stephen King is a fascinating man and I loved reading his story.