All hail Stephen King!
On Writing is in my opinion, Stephen King’s magnum opus. After a decorated career as an author of horror, supernatural fiction, suspense and fantasy novels, King blessed us with this particular read. He describes it as;
“…An attempt to put down briefly and simply, how I came into the craft, what I know about it now, and how it’s done. It’s about the day job; it’s about the language.”
It’s all that and much more!
I will do only two things here. One, is to explain how a young budding writer from Kenya got his hands on such a masterpiece, and two, to share just three lessons (among the millions) I have learned from Stephen King on writing, in On Writing (pun intended)! This masterpiece of writing popped up on my literary radar after I read my favourite blog post, Cristian Mihai’s “Irevuo”. Specifically, his post titled “Books On Wiritng” dated September 6, 2019. Cristian is a gifted writer and I recommend his blog, irevuo.art, to every single writer.
To the crux of it, here are the three most fundamental lessons that I got from Stephen King:
- “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There’s no way around these two things that I am aware of, no shortcut.”
This is the piece of advice that captured my attention the most. I don’t think there’s anything he has emphasized more than this. Readership begets authorship. It’s that simple.
- “You cannot hope to sweep someone else away by the force of your writing until it has been done to you.”
Said differently, if it is boring to you, it will definitely be boring to your reader. Create something you fall in love with. Passion is contagious, especially through the pages of a book.
- “…We both understand that the hours we spend talking about writing is time we don’t spend actually doing it.”
Need I say more? Let’s get to writing!
These are the three most impactful lessons I gained from this wonderful book. I encourage you get your hands on a copy of this book. Discover and share your lessons!
Review by Aura Billy Osogo