Wouldn’t we all like to become a world famous author? I know I would!
The problem is, there’s no roadmap to success. We have to struggle and fight our way through the ups and downs of life, hoping that our chance to shine will come.
I don’t know if that will ever happen to me or to you…
…but it’s always nice when an article about Stephen King’s writing advice pops up in my inbox 😀
In the words of Stephen King…
Stephen King has sold over 350 million books. Whether you like him as a writer or person doesn’t matter. He’s doing something right. And here’s what he says about writing.
After explaining that watching television is “poisonous to creativity”, King stated:
“you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot”
I think a lot of us have heard this before. Reading helps shape us as writers and can inspire us. But oftentimes, we focus so much on writing that we forget this important aspect of our formation as writers. I know I’m guilty of this.
Of course, it works in the other direction too. Sometimes we read too much that we start to get lazy with our writing. We can become so caught up in the works of authors that we don’t even create any ourselves. I’ve known a few people that have aspired to write books, but they couldn’t give up reading.
Stephen King also says:
“One of the really bad things you can do to your writing is to dress up the vocabulary, looking for long words because you’re maybe a little bit ashamed of your short ones”
I think this is really important. Ever start reading a novel and realize that you’ve been spending more time reading the dictionary because you don’t know what the HECK the author is talking about? Yeah. Keep things simple. Use words that make sense when you’re trying to describe something, not the biggest words you can find.
Talking about his own experiences:
“Once I start work on a project, I don’t stop, and I don’t slow down unless I absolutely have to. If I don’t write every day, the characters begin to stale off in my mind… I begin to lose my hold on the story’s plot and pace.”
This is interesting because this can creep up on me too. I might stop writing for a day or two, and then, when I try to come back to it, I discover that I can’t get anything out. It’s like I have to “relearn” what was going on, or rediscover how my characters were feeling in a given scene. Consistency, as we’ve already discussed, is important!
And last, but certainly not least:
“Optimism is a perfectly legitimate response to failure”
Get back up if things don’t go perfectly. If you write a bad page, a bad chapter, a bad first draft, be hopeful. You’re not going to get anywhere just sulking and brooding about how things could’ve been different. Go make the changes necessary. Go make things happen.
Stephen King’s a pretty smart guy!
And very successful 😉
What do you think? Any thoughts concerning his advice? Anything you can add to his advice?