Stephen King "On Writing"

Stephen King "On Writing"

Of the many books about writing I have read, Stephen King's On Writing is the first one I felt was a must-read for any artist. It is important for an artist to know about others struggles so that when the chips are down you have a way to stay motivated. Also, I think it is important to learn from the few people that are commercially successful. As someone who is not a fan of his recent work I was surprised by how much I liked this book.

This book stars off as a memoir of his childhood. He talks about what it was like growing up as the younger brother to a entrepreneurial brother and having a single mother. It actually is a quite fascinating look at a commercial writers auspicious beginnings. It reiterates to the reader that even the most successful people faced rejection before they had success. The truly inspirational part of his book is that while writing the first draft of this book he was struck by a car. He admits to putting it aside, but that writing the book was what made him appreciate writing again.

The second half is an insightful look in to King's writing methods. He is adamant that his method may not work for everyone, but it is solid advice for any aspiring writer. He does not do any things out of the ordinary, but he does have a solid thesis on what great/good writing is. He also delves in to the fact that mediocre writers can get better, all the have to do is try and learn.

At the end of reading this book I was left with a feeling of satisfaction that his musings about his life and his simplistic view of writing was refreshing. Too many people believe nowadays that every writer has to be great and tell amazing emotional stories. King is happy to write mostly horror stories and does not apologize for his commercial success. He is surprised by his success and admits he is not a "great" writer. He just writes and will not stop writing.