“The unreal is more powerful than the real. Because nothing is as perfect as you can imagine it. Because it’s only intangible ideas, concepts, beliefs, fantasies that last. Stone crumbles. Wood rots. People, well, they die. But things as fragile as a thought, a dream, a legend, they can go on and on. If you can change the way people think. The way they see themselves. The way they see the world. You can change the way people live their lives. That’s the only lasting thing you can create.”
Life’s all about cause and effect. A man without a cause has no effect on the world. A man without a cause crumbles under the pressure of the mundane. Day in and day out he struggles to find a purpose, a reason, a battle worth fighting. He feels as if wasting time, as if something bigger than himself is always running away, day after day after day.
No man is an island, and a way a man sees himself will affect the way he sees those around him. Those he wants to love. Those he wants to save. Those he wants to protect.
And a man must, at times, be willing to sacrifice who he is in order to do any of those things.
I let the commotion around me these days subside a bit before speaking to you from the bottom of my heart. I have just been given far too great an honor, one I neither sought nor solicited. But when I heard the news, my first thought, after my mother, was of you. Without you, without the affectionate hand you extended to the small poor child that I was, without your teaching and example, none of all this would have happened. I don’t make too much of this sort of honor. But at least it gives me the opportunity to tell you what you have been and still are for me, and to assure you that your efforts, your work, and the generous heart you put into it still live in one of your little schoolboys who, despite the years, has never stopped being your grateful pupil. I embrace you with all my heart.
“if it doesn’t come bursting out of you in spite of everything, don’t do it. unless it comes unasked out of your heart and your mind and your mouth and your gut, don’t do it.”
― Charles Bukowski
Passion. Defined as a strong and barely controllable emotion. Fire. Defined as a destructive burning of something. Sounds pretty bad now, doesn’t it? But, if you think about it for a while, creation is a destructive process. Or is it the other way around?
But I do wonder, did you find your passion? Are you sure? Is it the thing that controls you? Make you want to jump out of the bed in the morning? The thing you can’t live without?
The King has always been the sort of writer who can release one bestseller after another. He has sold more than 350 million copies of his works.
Wouldn’t that be nice? To be able to sell that many books? To be that productive?
Well, in 2002 King temporarily gave up on writing horror novels, and wrote a little book chronicling his rise to fame and discussing exactly what he believes it takes to become a good writer. Since then, it’s become the most popular book about writing ever written, which is understandable.
On Writing is not only about the basics of writing, and something that you should approach as a craft, but also a passion. Other writing books are focused on the mechanics of the written word, while King shows you how to capture the joy of the craft.
Yes, this little book will make you want to write, not for fame or fortune, but because it’s fun, and there’s nothing else you would rather do.
If I could recommend only one book to aspiring writers, On Writing would be it. But don’t take my word for it. Below, I’ve compiled a list of his best advice from the book, and I also wrote down some of my own thoughts on exactly how they apply to aspiring writers.
“The blank page is yours. Cast aside worries over art and criticism. Imagine a land without rules. Imagine that nobody has ever told you that you cannot or should not do this thing. Those people were wrong.” — Chuck Wendig
You know what’s the one thing I find to be equally fascinating and terrifying?
A blank page.
It’s the most terrifying thing… because that page doesn’t care who you are or what you wrote before sitting down at the desk, doesn’t care how many people are waiting to read your words… it just stays empty until you write something. Continue reading “Art is Freedom”→