On…On Writing

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What a particularly clever title! (:P)

Having been told multiple times that Stephen King’s On Writing was basically the must read book for any would be writers, I decided to finally read it – well for that reason and to silence a nagging friend.

To be completely honest, prior to reading the book I didn’t really like Stephen King. I’d watched a few videos of him talking at various events and there was something about him that I found annoying. He was kind of – i don’t know, he just irritated me. He struck me as one of those super successful types that carries on as if they’re on a different class of cool than the rest of us, whether intentional or not. But thinking back to my initial impressions of the guy, I was clearly just being judgmental, an annoying trait that I’m working to reduce if not eliminate!

Anyhow – I really enjoyed On Writing. These days I’ve become a member of the ebook Kindle clan and had a couple of book vouchers that needed to be spent in a store that doesnt sell ebooks. While it was somewhat annoying to go back to balancing a paperback book in one hand, my lunch in the other (something the kindle excels at countering incidentally!) I have to admit by the end of the book, I had reacquainted my joy of holding a physical book.

The book itself is roughly broken into two parts. The first part is his personal memoir, detailing much of his life and how he became such a prolific and famous writer. The second part is his own thoughts and advice on writing. While the writing advice was definitely very good, much of it I had read before from other sources and so i didn’t take much away from it that I hadn’t already read. But I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the memoir portion of the book. Having read where he came from and his writing journey, it gave me a new appreciation for the guy and made me think back to those feelings I had when watching him speak in that youtube video – which I watched again recently and can say I watched it with different eyes.

The book is most definitely something that anyone interested in writing should read, but it’s certainly not unique in the heavily stuffed world of writing tips and advice that is out there.

If there was one overarching thing that I did take away from it however, it’s that in order to write a story of any length, one must simply pull their finger out of their ass and write – a problem of which I suffer badly.

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