Post By Kerrie
Stephen King's book On Writing is one of the best books about writing. No, I take that back, it IS the best book about writing.
King opens the book by sharing his writing journey and we see that he struggled. Yes, Stephen King struggled, just like the rest of us, to get his writing career going. Then in the second part he talks about his writing toolbox and gives great advice and strong opinions on the craft.
This amazing piece of work is funny, poignant, informative and a must read for every writer. I don't lend my personal copy of On Writing to anyone and I do mean anyone. If the president of the U.S. wanted my copy it would take at least 10 social services guys to pry it out of my hands while I screamed obscenities at them.
I also don't normally deface books and am not typically a re-reader, but On Writing is the exception. Dozens of pages are dog-eared, the margins are written in and I re-read it whenever I can.
Starting on Tuesday, I am leading a 4-week, On Writing, book study through Northern Colorado Writers. This gives me an excuse to read it again and then discuss it in depth with other writers. We are also going to apply his words of wisdom to our own writing and then share that with each other. My insides feel like a shaken-up soda right now I am so excited.
Here are some of my favorite dog-eared, underlined passages in the book:
"You must not come lightly to the blank page. I'm not asking you to come reverently or unquestioningly; I'm not asking you to be politically correct or cast aside your sense of humor. This isn't a popularity contest, it's not the moral Olympics, and it's not church. But it's writing, damn it, not washing the car or putting on eyeliner. If you can take it seriously, we can do business. if you can't or won't, it's time for you to close the book and something else. Wash the car maybe."
"I am convinced that fear is at the root of most bad writing."
"The hours we spend talking about writing is the time we don't spend actually doing it."
"The scariest moment is always just before you start. After that, things can only get better."
Have you read On Writing? If so, what did you learn from it?