10 lessons for bloggers from Stephen King

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 for bloggers from Stephen King

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”

On Reading

“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”

On Jealousy

“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?!

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20 comments on 10 lessons for bloggers from Stephen King

  1. Tracey
    September 2, 2015 at 10:00 am (4 years ago)

    I love Stephen King! Didn’t know he wrote a memoir, will have to go and find it 🙂
    Tracey recently posted…101 blog post ideasMy Profile

  2. Leandra
    September 4, 2015 at 6:17 am (4 years ago)

    Such a great post, I love Stephen King and always found him incredibly motivational, I’ve just never connected bloggers and ‘writers’ feeling very inspired now. #thelist xx
    Leandra recently posted…|BLOG|my ten blogging commandmentsMy Profile

  3. Che
    September 4, 2015 at 7:56 am (4 years ago)

    Oh wow I have no excuses to not read anymore. I used to read a book a week. Now it’s more like a chapter a month but lots of blogs to fill the void. This has really put things back into perspective. Good ole Stephen. x #thelist
    Che recently posted…WHATEVER THE WEATHER #8My Profile

  4. Erin @Yorkshiretots
    September 4, 2015 at 7:57 am (4 years ago)

    What a great idea for a post! I think it can be easy to think that writing comes easily to ‘better writers’! #TheList

  5. Sam
    September 4, 2015 at 9:47 am (4 years ago)

    I’ve actually got this book – have just dug it out. I’m not sure why I’ve never read it through before because I love his style and he does have some really wise words to share here. I think one of the things this tells me about where I flounder is that I simply don’t have any regular times carved out in my week to sit and write. I literally just do it whenever I find a spare bit of time so it is all over the place. Then when I suddenly find myself with a bit of unexpected time I put too much pressure on myself to produce something and procrastinate and feel dreadful because I’ve then wasted that precious precious commodity. *Sigh* He’s right though, reading is a huge part of the writing process so I’ll take that as a good sign 🙂

  6. Mrs Puddleducky
    September 4, 2015 at 12:59 pm (4 years ago)

    Wow what amazing snippets from his book, never heard of it, sounds like an amazing book. I’ve never read as much as I do now through blogging! And it’s so true that you have to be, well, true…! X
    Mrs Puddleducky recently posted…Back to School FeelingsMy Profile

  7. jeremy@thirstydaddy
    September 4, 2015 at 1:37 pm (4 years ago)

    I’ve read everything by Steven King but its been many years since I’ve thought of that book. Might be time to dust it off
    jeremy@thirstydaddy recently posted…10 Tips for TeensMy Profile

  8. Wave to Mummy
    September 7, 2015 at 12:22 am (4 years ago)

    These are fab! I love these tips – there is so much to learn from good writing. If I wasn’t already drowning in books I haven’t read (even though I really want to) this would definitely be on my list 🙂 #thelist
    Wave to Mummy recently posted…It could have been me: Save Syria’s ChildrenMy Profile

  9. LadyNicci
    October 17, 2015 at 12:37 pm (4 years ago)

    Brilliant! This is on my to buy list, have heard loads about it. Also my to read list which is twelve books high at the minute. Damn social media taking all my time! #thelist
    LadyNicci recently posted…Nothing to hold. Nothing to grieve. Nothing.My Profile

  10. Alina Ghost
    December 29, 2015 at 10:50 am (3 years ago)

    This is really inspirational, for bloggers and writers alike. I’m currently in the process of a short self-taught writing course so this really will spur me on to continue 🙂

    I think my favourite tip from above would be the one about the desk in the corner, I never really thought of that one before so many thanks for sharing!

    Best of luck with blogging too, clearly you’re passionate about it x

    lifestyle and books blog
    Alina Ghost recently posted…WIN a 2 Hour Karaoke Experience for you and 7 friendsMy Profile

  11. Belle
    April 11, 2016 at 11:17 am (3 years ago)

    Great advice!

  12. Deb from Crossing New Bridges
    May 25, 2016 at 12:21 am (3 years ago)

    I loved this post! I have loved Stephen King since my childhood. I agree with his theory on writing quickly. I do the same thing in order to keep up with my thoughts before I lose them. I did not need his approval to write but the next time my husband complains about my face in my computer so much I am going to tell him Stephen King said it was ok….haha let’s see how well that goes over…
    Deb from Crossing New Bridges recently posted…Recreating CreationsMy Profile

  13. Charlotte
    July 10, 2016 at 10:53 am (3 years ago)

    I love this post, I have wanted this book for years now and just never got round to buying it. I am heading over to buy a copy now, thanks for the inspiration.

  14. Oana - Blondie Mommy's Stories
    September 3, 2016 at 2:18 pm (3 years ago)

    What an inspirational post. I will definitely read the book. I want to become a better writer too.


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