Stephen King on Writing

Writers & Writing — By on July 22, 2016 at 3:37 pm

Stephen King knows a thing or two about writing and he wrote a pretty good book on the subject. Open Culture published a piece that lists 20 of King’s rules for writers. A sampling:StephenKing

First write for yourself, and then worry about the audience. “When you write a story, you’re telling yourself the story. When you rewrite, your main job is taking out all the things that are not the story.”

Don’t worry about making other people happy. “If you intend to write as truthfully as you can, your days as a member of polite society are numbered, anyway.”

Writing is about getting happy. “Writing isn’t about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid or making friends. Writing is magic, as much as the water of life as any other creative art. The water is free. So drink.”

And, of course:

The magic is in you. “I’m convinced that fear is at the root of most bad writing.”

Yes, fear. That old bugaboo. I wrote a post some time ago about lessons gleaned from two conferences I attended, one on writing and the other on travel. In both places, fear was a common denominator on what both writers and travelers needed to strive to overcome. At the writing conference, author Bob Mayer suggested that fear is what holds back all too many writers. Fear of failure, fear of success, even fear of being truly honest on the page. “The thing most people fear writing about is what they should be writing about,” he said. “That’s where their best writing will come from.”

Or, as King would say, “the magic is in you.”


Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons photo by bunkosquad/Michael Femia

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