“OK, I got Velazquez portrait of the Pope Innocent X. Quite an ambivalent study of absolute power. And here comes Francis Bacon. Despite never having seen this painting in person, Bacon became so obsessed with it that he compulsively repainted it over and over again, each version more horrific than the previous. […] It’s not until an artist finds his obsession that he can create his most inspired work.” – Anamorph
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. Continue reading Stephen King’s 10 Best Tips for Becoming a Phenomenal Writer
“Any man who keeps working is not a failure. He may not be a great writer, but if he applies the old-fashioned virtues of hard, constant labor, he’ll eventually make some kind of career for himself as writer.” —Ray Bradbury
The first story the Writer ever shared with fellow human beings was unanimously hated by said humans. One of them said, about the Writer, that he was either a retard or fourteen years old.
But he kept writing. One bad story after another. He kept reading, as if to accumulate all the words the Great Writers, the ones before him, had ever put down on paper. Continue reading The Writer: Episode #7
“A word after a word after a word is power.” ― Margaret Atwood
There’s this thing called verbal narcissism. It’s pretty much the ability to game a wall, if it comes to that. To sell sand in the Sahara Desert.
It also means to be so in love with your own words that it could mean talking on and on about things that few people ever care about. Or it could happen that you do deliver a strong message, but you’re using so many words to do so, that it’s all distilled to the point of making people want to smack you over the head with their keyboards. Continue reading Are You In Love With Your Own Writing?
“A blank piece of paper is God’s way of telling us how hard it is to be God.” — Sidney Sheldon
BSOD or Blue Screen of Death is a an error screen displayed on a Windows computer system after a fatal system error.
Writers have something called a WSOD or White Screen of Death. It looks something like this: Continue reading The Writer: Episode #6
“As a writer, you should not judge, you should understand.” — Ernest Hemingway
The Writer has always been curios.
This is the one question that has always defined him as a person. The Writer has always wanted to know why things were the way that they were, why someone worked (or it didn’t) and why certain things happened and not their opposite.
The same principle seemed to apply to people. It was more important to know why they did what they did, rather than try to understand how or when or with whom.
People were one way or another because of their why. Continue reading The Writer: Episode #5
“To be an artist you have to give up everything, including the desire to be a good artist.” – Jasper Johns
When I was seventeen years old, I kind of figured that I was better at writing than those around me. Had won a few competitions, and all my teachers were impressed by what I could write.
I wanted to be good. I wanted to be the best. I had the type of goals that one cannot utter out loud for fear of being locked away in a mental institution.
I liked to impress people, and then I would also impress myself.
I’d write short stories the day before a deadline. Soon, I became complacent. I thought that I was so good that I just had to stroll my fingers across a keyboard and magic would appear on my computer screen. Continue reading How to Be a Good Artist