There is no doubt that Stephen King is one of the best writers of our generation. King has over 50 bestselling books, over 20 movies BASED on his books, a whole host of TV shows and miniseries based on his work. Stephen King is also the author of one of the best books on the writing craft: “On Writing,” by Stephen King.
This book is partially a memoir of his life; he simply tells the story of how he got to where he is today. He tells how he was able to go from writing dime-store thrillers all the way to writing complicated plots like “The Stand” or “The Dark Tower” that play with the audience’s emotions like a piano from Digital Piano Judge. Wouldn’t you like to learn from someone that has that kind of power with words? “On Writing” offers a look into Stephen King’s mind, and allows you a chance to learn from the most prolific authors alive today.
One of the most valuable lessons from the book is King’s discussion on inspiration. King almost never has writer’s block, and the only times in his life when he had serious writer’s block was when he was undergoing severe drug and alcohol addiction. How is King able to avoid writer’s block? His answer is twofold: he reads, and he lives life. Doesn’t that sound simple? Let’s explore that idea a bit.
King believes that if you don’t read, you can’t write. If you’re not introducing yourself to new ideas constantly, you will never be successful and have original ideas of your own. His secret to success is constant reading. You will not grow as a writer unless you are constantly exposing yourself to amazing literature!
The second part of King’s answer is to live life. If you do nothing but stay at your desk all day and wait for ideas to come to you, you will never come up with a single good idea. Some of King’s best works have come from simple encounters in his life; an encounter with a clown gave him the idea for “IT,” and “The Shining” was inspired by a hotel King stayed in when he was travelling. Get out of your house and live – there are plenty of interesting events that awaits you!
King’s one most important tips is the one I’ve saved for last: Practice! If you don’t practice writing you will always suffer as a subpar writer. King recommends writing NO LESS than 2000 words a day; that way you will always be learning and improving your writing skills. Just like a concert pianist spends countless hours honing his or her craft, you need to be learning through writing, reading, and just living in the world. If you follow these steps, it is almost impossible to NOT become an amazing writer. All you need is drive and the willingness to put in the work. Some people want to make writing more complicated than that, but take it from Stephen King himself: becoming a great writer IS doable! You just have to be willing to work!