I mentioned this book on my very first blog post for this blog, but I thought it was worth taking the time to look over. For those of you who know Stephen King’s long list of books, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft is very different from most of the things that he has written.
In fact, this book is about writing as a whole. It’s about stories of Stephen King growing up and turning into the writer that he eventually became. It’s a book with advice on subjects from rejection to editing.
Of course the attitude of the book does go more towards brutal honesty. “I can’t lie and say there are no bad writers. Sorry, but there are lots of bad writers,” King writes in the beginning of the second section of the book. And he’s shown brutal honesty in “C.V.,” the first section of the book.
Stephen King knows what he’s talking about when he talks about writing. His discussion of his decisions and the worlds that he created in his stories is fascinating.
So why is this the only Stephen King book I’ve completed?
Well it’s really simple. Stephen King doesn’t write the kind of books that I really enjoy. There are plenty of writers in the world that are celebrated and loved that I have never fallen in love with in quite the same way.
When it comes to writing and reading, I’ve always thought that the best policy was to read everything and especially read everything that writers put out there about writing. Just because you don’t like a particular style, doesn’t mean that there isn’t a lesson for you to learn.
Whether it’s a new way to approach narrative or just inspiring a single phrase that helps spur you on in your own creative endeavors, reading can help push you to new places where your writing just gets better and better.
Would I recommend On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft to anyone? Yes. The stories within are an interesting and inspiring story of how Stephen King became the man he is today. Definitely go out and read it if you have the time.