Cover of book On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

by: Stephen King

Check out the book on Amazon | your public library.
A Memoir about writing by Stephen King. Enough said. If you are interested in writers and on writing, a must read.
11 Highlights | 2 Notes
  • Then, as now, I tend to go through periods of idleness followed by periods of workaholic frenzy.
  • “When you write a story, you're telling yourself the story,” he said. “When you rewrite, your main job is taking out all the things that are NOT the story.”
    Note: Mindset while writing,#how-to-write
  • It starts with this: put your desk in the corner, and every time you sit down there to write, remind yourself why it isn't in the middle of the room. Life isn't a support-system for art. It is the other way around.
  • Reading at meals is considered rude in polite society, but if you expect to succeed as a writer, rudeness should be the second-to-least of your concerns. The least of all should be polite society and what it expects. If you intend to write as truthfully as you can, your days as a member of the polite society are numbered, anyway.
  • What this suggested to me was that when it came to the sax and my son, there was never going to be any real play-time; it was all going to be rehearsal. That's no good. If there's no joy in it, it's just no good. It's best to go on to some other area, where the deposits of talent may be richer and the fun quotient higher.
    Talent renders the whole idea of rehearsal meaningless; when you find something at which you are talented, you do it (whatever it is) until your fingers bleed on your eyes are ready to fall out of your head. Even when no one is listening (or reading on watching), every outing is a bravura performance, because you as the creator are happy. Perhaps even ecstatic.
  • … most of us do our best in a place of our own. Until you get one, you'll find your new resolution to write a lot hard to take seriously.

    The space can be humble (probably should be, as I think I have already suggested), and it really needs only one thing: a door which you are willing to shut. The closed door is your way of telling the world and yourself that you mean business; you have made a serious commitment to write and intend to walk the walk as well as talk the talk.
  • If you're a beginner, though, let me urge that you take your story through at least two drafts; the one without you do with the study door closed and the one you do with the it open. With the door shut, downloading what's in my head directly to the page, I write as fast as I can and still remain comfortable.

    If I write rapidly,…
    I find that I can keep up with my original enthusiasm and at the same time outrun the self-doubt that's always waiting to settle in.
    Note: So important, the I find that I can keep up with my original enthusiasm and at the same time outrun the self-doubt that's always waiting to settle in., #remember
  • “ Not bad, but PUFFY. You need to revise for length. Formula: 2nd Draft = 1st draft - 10%. Good Luck!”
  • At times like that I m sure all writers feel pretty much the same, no matter what their skill and success level: God, if only I were in the right writing environment with the right understanding people, I just KNOW would be penning my masterpiece.
  • And the larger the work looms in my day - the more it seems like an I hafta instead of just an I wanna - the more problematic it can become.
  • You learn best by reading a lot and writing a lot, and the most valuable lessons of all are the ones you teach yourself.