Monday, January 08, 2007

On Writing

First of all, I was distracted from writing first thing by this headline: "Woman gives birth to sextuplets in Vancouver hospital." If that doesn't scare the bejeebus out of you, I don't know what will.

But, onward to today's topic. Perhaps it should be procrastination because I really should be writing on the ms, and I did get a start. But I really want to talk about this because it's very timely to me personally. And THEN I'll get back to the ms.

I am currently reading Stephen King's book "On Writing". It's sort of a blend of memior/writing instruction book. I'm currently in the instruction part where he talks about a writer's "toolbox". And I'm enjoying everything immensely. At times in the first part, where he describes several episodes of his childhood, I was laughing so hard I wiped tears from my eyes.

But the best parts for me are the little bits of writerly wisdom he sprinkles in. You know writing can be a very solitary business. It's easy to feel isolated. When I read his introduction, and he said "We are writers, and we never ask one another where we get our ideas; we know we don't know", I knew Mr. King and I were going to be great friends. LOL

Or how about a quote like: "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."

But it's this one that hit me as especially appropriate right NOW.

"...the realization that 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." Seeing as I've been feeling like I've been shoveling my fair share lately, I really appreciated this vote of confidence.

In the second foreword, he says "This is a short book because most books about writing are filled with bullshit...the shorter the book, the less the bullshit."

I shall follow that example and simply say, Thank you, Stephen King. :-)

P.S. Don't forget - tomorrow's the last day to enter my Almost a Family contest! Release day is tomorrow!


  1. I totally LOVED this book. He's so good at just cutting through the bull and getting straight to the heart of the matter. My copy is tattered and worn from too much reading!
    One of my favorite parts of the book is where he talks about his muse. Not sure if you've gotten there yet.
    Ya gotta love King. ;-)
    -Jen (Toronto, Ontario)

  2. This is one of my favourite writing books, too. It always makes me feel so inspired.

    Jess x