On Writing by Stephen King
Writing isn’t about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid, or making friends. In the end, it’s about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life, as well. It’s about getting up, getting well, and getting over. Getting happy, okay? Getting happy.
– Stephen King
If you consider yourself a writer, and you have not read On Writing, you are doing yourself a disservice. It’s a mix between a memoir and a reference book, and is chock full of great writing advice. Note that I said advice. Even King, when he tells you the rules he follows – kill your darlings, write two thousand words a day, banish adverbs from your writing – he reminds you that these rules are what works for him. Sure there are rules of grammar and style in writing, but once you understand them and when to apply them, rules are made to be broken. Do what works for you, and what works for your story.
The stand out part of this books was when King talked about his humble beginnings, living in a trailer with his wife and working in an industrial laundry while he wrote Carrie. This novel he sold the rights to a few years later for four hundred thousand dollars. It is a great lesson that being a writer is about persistence, dedication, discipline, and writing. Toss away your dreams of running on passion and being visited daily by the muse. To be a writer you need to buck up and work, every day. Even if you only write fifty words a day that is still progress toward an article, short story, novella, or a full-fledged novel.