I waited a really long time before reading this book. I stared at it on the Chapter’s website for months and finally one day after scouring the shelves for what felt like an eternity I bought the very last copy they had. Let me tell you something, it was the best decision I made that day maybe even that week. This book is amazing in so many ways but before I delve into all of the reasons why I’ll give you a brief breakdown of what the memoir/guide to writing is all about. The first half of the book discusses Stephen’s first foray into the world of writing. I don’t want to give away too much but I will say this; he is fastidious about never sugar coating anything. He says what he means and he means what he says and that’s one of the reasons I admire him so much as an author. I raced through the first half thoroughly enjoying reading snippets about his small town life and the triumphs and failures he experienced as a writer. The latter half of the book is technical but King does his best in trying to stay away from sounding like a “How to Write” guide. I want you to read this memoir, regardless of whether you aspire to be a writer or not. There are some great life lessons entwined in each and every one of the witty anecdotes.
Below are some of my favorite quotes from his memoir:
“Writing is a lonely job. Having someone who believes in you makes a lot of difference. They don’t have to make long speeches. Just believing is usually enough” (p.74)
“…stopping a piece of work just because it’s hard, either emotionally or imaginatively, is a bad idea. Sometimes you have to go on when you don’t feel like it, and sometimes you’re doing good work when it feels like all you’re managing is to shovel shit from a sitting position” (p.78).
“…put your desk in the corner, and every time you sit down there to write, remind yourself why it isn’t in the middle of the room. Life isn’t a support-system for art. It’s the other way around” (pg. 101).
Notice something about all of these quotes? It’s not about being a better writer, selling the story and making millions. It’s about living your life, enjoying your craft and the realization that family, friends and love should fuel your passion not stifle it. I highly recommend this novel for anyone looking for a witty read but also for anyone who is looking to gain a new perspective on a craft they love.