But a couple of days ago, I finished reading a book of an entirely different sort — On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, by Stephen King. It isn’t so much a writer’s manual, as a memoir of his writing journey. His actual instruction on writing is delivered in an entertaining, easy-to-take story format.
“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.” – Stephen King
I used to be a bookworm. I even won first place in my class in Gr. 4, for reading more pages than anyone else. When our kids joined the public library in 1993, I would read all eighty-plus books they borrowed every three weeks. In more recent years, reading has become a real challenge, putting me to sleep every time I sat down to it.
But any writer worth his salt is a reader. Everyone knows that. Right?
It hasn’t been easy, but I’ve slowly come back to the place where I am reading for an hour or so almost every day. This year I joined the Goodreads Reading Challenge, committing to reading forty books this year. So far I’ve read twenty-two.
Reading Stephen King’s book reminded me of an essay I read in my own copy of the 1992 edition of The Writer’s Handbook, edited by Sylvia K. Burack.
You can read the full article here at Aerogramme Writers’ Studio.
Here is Stephen’s list in a nutshell…
Everything You Need to Know About Writing Successfully
1. Be talented
2. Be neat
3. Be self-critical
4. Remove every extraneous word
5. Never look at a reference book while doing a first draft
6. Know the markets
7. Write to entertain
8. Ask yourself frequently, “Am I having fun?”
9. How to evaluate criticism
10. Observe all rules for proper submission
11. An agent? Forget it. For now
12 If it’s bad, kill it
© Willena Flewelling