"There's no point in spending your life in the pursuit of something that's easy." - Alice Kuipers

Monday, August 13, 2012

Stephen King's On Writing

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.


  1. I love Stephen King, always have, and his book On Writing was one of the first I read. I agree, it is a good read, and he can relate to pretty much anyone, except maybe those who don't appreciate his grit and candor. I do. He's accomplished a lot, has a ton of experience behind him and has a lot to share. We're just lucky he's willing to share. Good luck on your daily goals!

  2. I loved Stephen King's On Writing! In fact, I'm due for a re-read! I also freaked out at the 4-6 hours a day reading/writing thing. Honestly, I about crumpled on the floor when I read that, thinking it was impossible. And it is for me, unless I consider the fact that the 4-6 hours doesn't have to be a single block of time. 10 minutes here, 5 minutes there, maybe even 50 minutes if I kick my kids outside to play...I'm hoping it all adds up somehow! This school year will be the 1st where all 3 kids are in school all day, so I'm hoping my writing blocks can be consolidated into larger blocks of time. Boy, am I looking forward to that! Thanks for this post, and good luck on your writing!

  3. Thanks both of you! It's good to know I'm not the only one that adored his book. Hopefully we can all band together and meet our collective writing goals. We've said them out loud, now we're accountable to them!

  4. Although, I'm not a Stephen King reader, I did pick this book up and found it, like you, absolutely filled with great advice. Plus, I just loved reading all about his life. I can never find enough time to read, but currently downloaded the complete short stories of Dorothy Parker and am now enthralled. Since humor stories is what I write, it made since to read one of the best.