Saturday, July 16, 2011

It’s Good to Be the King

Post by guest blogger, NCW member Maggie Goins

It’s Good to Be the King

That would be Stephen King: world renowned, bestselling author of over 30 books, some of which many will never, ever, forget (or, perhaps, get over). I bow down before his writing majesty. I am not worthy.

Have you ever read King’s “On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft”? I had, probably ten years ago, and was inspired and encouraged by it, somehow braver about exposing my writing to the world. When the NCW book study class of this wonderful writing tool was offered, I signed up, excited to take an in depth look at it after a decade of its sitting on my shelf. Our group consists of Kerrie, myself, and three new, interesting writer friends.

The first thing that surprised me about the book this time around, was how much I had forgotten about him. The basis for his stories could have been taken from his own young life, far from being one of privilege or opportunity. King had to work very hard, like many of us, to get his big break, maybe even harder. He is talented, obviously, but his main advantage was his mother, who always believed and encouraged him, just as his wife, Tabitha, does to this day. We all need this kind of faith in us, and as he says, “They don’t have to make speeches. Just believing is usually enough.”

Our first assignment was to read the first 80 pages for our discussion. Honestly, I could have talked and listened for another hour. This week we’ll read 50 pages, still pretty much in the memoir-like section of the book. I’m again inspired by his humility, work ethic and his love of language and can’t wait for our next group discussion.

If you haven’t read this book, promise yourself you will. You’ll certainly learn from this King and find you may need to talk to someone about it, as well.



Marlena Cassidy said...

This is the second post I've read about On Writing, so I'm really going to have to check it out now.

I think we tend to forget that Stephen King had to struggle as well to be noticed in publishing because he is such a phenomenon today. It's good to be reminded that even a master of his craft had to start somewhere.

I hope you keep on enjoying your class and that you learn a lot from your reading.

Anonymous said...


In many ways Kings advice here is very simple. It's pure gold, but very simple. What I love about this book was that he made it something enjoyable to read, and he emphasized not his riches, but his LOVE of writing. And in so doing reminded me why I loved it so much. For any aspiring writers, this is a pleasure to read, and I hope it leads you down a fun and exciting path of your own!

Pk Hrezo said...

I've been wanting to read this one for awhile now. I've read so many writing books, all of which I loved, and still haven't had a chance to read this one. But I'm doing it this year!
Thanks for the inspiration to do so!

Cookin'Cathy said...

I listened to King's On Writing as an audiobook in January. I learned so much and continue to have King's voice in my head.

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