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Monday, September 23, 2013

On Writing

Recently I read On Writing: A memoir of the craft, written by Stephen King. It was a book I wanted to read for some time and I finally put my hands on it. And it was good.

The book is divided in two parts. In the first one we read about King’s life since he wants to show us how a writer was formed. During this part, I learned a lot about his life and I was surprised to learn about his alcoholism and drug addiction. But King talked about everything and I was able to understand him. I see now that it was necessary to read all these stuff before I moved on the next part, where he talks about writing. Because after that part I could judge better his likes and way on writing.

In the second part he talks about the craft. He says about description, paragraphs, rights and wrongs and all the stuff that troubled him during the years he was trying to establish himself as a writer. He talked about closed doors, his imspiration, writing in the laundry room, about his beta reader (his wife), criticism but the most important is that he talked about his way. During this book, it stayed clear in my head that every one of us, writers, experienced or not, new or old, we all have our own way of writing and we must develop it.

It may be a cliché but King repeated it too, trying to make us understand. If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have time to write, he says. Simple as that. Reading is the creative center of a writer’s life. I take a book with me everywhere I go, and find there all sorts of opportunities to dip in. The trick is to teach yourself to read in small sips as well as in long swallows.

Things like that are more useful, in my opinion, than trying to force a writer to follow someone else's way. Yes, it’s best not to use passive voice and we need to fix our grammar, but it’s priceless to understand that we need to omit the needless stuff.

I found this read very helpful and I recognized parts of myself between those lines. I don’t know how the future will be, but I have this fire burning inside me. I have this need to write and share my stories. 

So, as King said: If God gives you something you can do, why in God’s name wouldn’t do it?

Well, I do it. And I’ll see if it'll lead me somewhere. Until then ... I am enjoying the process.

How about you? Have you read this book? Tell me your thoughts.

Have a great week.    


  1. I've never read this, but writers everywhere always seem to praise, so I'm glad to see you enjoyed it and found it inspirational!

    1. hehe it was a very good read. :)
      Thanks for stopping by.

  2. I love this post because this book has been sitting sad and neglected on my shelf for weeks now and I finally want to read it. I'm curious about this finding our own way of writing. That seems like possibly a life long crusade. Were you nodding your head a lot during the read? Maybe waving around your latest Jo Nesbo book to show Mr. King that you always have a book at the ready too? Can't wait to chat with you about the book after I read it. Have a great weekend, Athina and thank you for your kind words on my Think post.

    1. Hehe, I'm glad my post helped you to think again about this book. You should read it and I want to discuss it with you too. :)

      Actually yes. I was nodding a lot while I was reading it and now that I have a kobo I can take a book with me all the time. :)

      Thanks for stopping by, Robyn.