On Writing
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ibsn13: 9781982159375

Stephen King tells you about his life and his advice on how you can become better at writing. This amounts to him basically saying “Just write a lot bro” but despite this, this was quite a fun read. And… He’s not wrong.

On Writing by Stephen King is half part autobiography and half part a guide to writing. You probably know Stephen King’s work and you’ve probably seen one of the thousands of movie adaptations of his books like It, Carrie or Shawshank Redemption). He is extremely prolific and he’s one of my favorite writers so when I heard that he wrote this book on writing, I picked it up right away.

On Writing does not disappoint. He tells the story of his life and his road to becoming the writer he is today. As you would expect, it’s a real page turner. Stephen King could write about paint drying and you would be glued to your seat.

Eventually, Stephen starts to give advice to people who want to become better writers. He mostly just says to write what you know and to practice every day? To be fair, I’ve become a better writer since I started following his advice soooooooooooo he must be onto something.

There’s one passage in particular that has been stuck in my brain for a while now and here it is.

He says that “Writing is telephathy.”

Look- here’s a table covered with red cloth. On it is a cage the size of a small fish aquarium. In the cage is a white rabbit with a pink nose and pink-rimmed eyes. […] On its back, clearly marked in blue ink, is the numeral 8. […] The most interesting thing here isn’t even the carrot-munching rabbit in the cage, but the number on its back. Not a six, not a four, not nineteen-point-five. It’s an eight. This is what we’re looking at, and we all see it. I didn’t tell you. You didn’t ask me. I never opened my mouth and you never opened yours. We’re not even in the same year together, let alone the same room… except we are together. We are close. We’re having a meeting of the minds. […] We’ve engaged in an act of telepathy. No mythy-mountain shit; real telepathy.

There’s something very personal about writing and reading that makes it worth doing. It was nice to be reminded of that.