Stephen King’s book, On Writing, is a must read for anyone writing or thinking about writing. The book is not a step by step how-to. It’s a wild ride through his life from age two. The first half tells his story of how and why he became a writer. He pulls no punches when talking about his life… the good, the bad, and the ugly of his existence from two until he was sitting at his desk writing this book in 1997. The second half discusses his thoughts and strategies of the writing process.
His depictions of his life are funny, somber, heartwarming and heartbreaking. His stories of the antics of him and his brother are hilarious. They seemed to have struggled quite a bit but there always seemed to be love. This atmosphere followed him into marriage but created an enduring, unconditional love that so many only dream of finding.
His struggle with alcohol and drugs is depicted in a way that melts the reader’s heart. He is open and, sometimes, self-deprecating in his examples of this time in his life. He speaks of the accident that almost took his life a few times but not in great detail. His explanations of inspirations for the work he has produced will both surprise and inspire the up and coming writer.
The second half of this book concentrates on the writing process. He gives no formula for the process. He does not say that if you follow this process you can be another Stephen King. He’s simply saying that your writing can be a bit better if you do have the privilege of having a talent to write.
So, before you begin that novel or novella, read this book and be inspired!