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”→
When I tell people I’m a writer they usually ask me how much I earn. I usually smile and say “enough.” I’ve been giving this answer even before I started earning money, when my stories were available for free on Wattpad.
The thing is that being a writer, or any other kind of artist, also means that most probably you’ll never earn a lot of money. Million dollar advances are extremely rare. Besides, I’m quite sure that most artists aren’t in this for money.
But what exactly do you earn if not money? Is there something else to being a writer?
From Dostoyevsky’s unnamed narrator in Notes from Underground to Nabokov’s Humbert Humbert in Lolita, the unreliable narrator is one of the greatest additions to modern literature. It’s difficult to properly categorize a narrator as being unreliable. That certain narrator not only does he not tell the truth, but he withholds information on purpose, and at the same time is taunting the reader to see through his facade, to find the truth.
Imagine drawing a map. Imagine tracing all these lines and shapes, using different colors. Quite a meticulous process. But this map is not one that leads to a treasure, or one that is meant to describe any real place on earth. No. This is a map of your soul. Depression Valley, Island of Solitude… you get the idea. All the places that are scarred because of too many tears. The heartbreaks, the bitterness, the loneliness, the happiness, the joy… the ecstasy.
All an artist does is a self-portrait. Everything. We write about people we never met, and we like to think that we simply imagined them into existence, but the truth is that our characters either resemble us or have traits and qualities we wish we had.