Whilst on holiday I read Stephen King’s 1999 book called “On Writing”. It’s a memoir in which he gives his advice on how to write fiction. I found it fascinating as I read it as many parts spoke to me about modern-day blogging. Let’s face it, writing is writing whichever form it takes. Blogging today, and making a good living from it, is potentially as competitive as succeeding in writing friction in the 90s. I think I highlighted every other page as I read, but I’ve collected together my 10 favourite quotes for you today…
10 Lessons on blogging from Stephen King
On Life and Work
“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 [or blogging!]. It’s the other way around”
“When …making sure the kid gets to his basketball camp on time is every bit as important as your work in progress, there’s a lot less pressure to produce”
“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”
“A novel like The Grapes of Wrath may fill a new writer with feelings of despair and good old-fashioned jealousy…but such feelings can also serve as a spur, goading the writer to work harder and aim higher. You cannot hope to sweep someone else away by the force of your writing until it has been done to you.”
On Work Ethic
“If you don’t want to work your ass off, you have no business trying to write well.”
“Stopping a piece of work just because it’s hard, either emotionally or imaginatively, is a bad idea. Sometimes you have to go on when you don’t feel like it, and sometimes you’re doing good work when it feels like all you’re managing is to shovel sh*t from a sitting position.”
On Inspiration and Writing habits
“Your job is to make sure the muse knows where you’re going to be every day from nine ’til noon or seven ’til three. If he does know, I assure you that sooner or later he’ll start showing up, chomping his cigar and making his magic.
“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.”
“What are you going to write about? … Anything you damn well want. Anything at all … as long as you tell the truth.”
Pretty good, huh?!
I’d highly recommend reading his book. I spontaneous sobbed in two parts of the memoirs, which were also hilarious. And the section on writing was amazingly approachable. I know many of us are non-fiction bloggers, but I still felt I learnt a lot about writing and much of it was relevant. We are still telling stories, which ever way you look at it!
I’ll leave you with my favourite quote, for anyone who feels they don’t have the right to be a writer…
“If you feel you need permission to do all the reading and writing your little heart desires … consider it hereby granted by yours truly.”
Thanks Stephen, I’ll take that one!
Have you ever read a great book about writing? What is your favourite quote?!