“On Writing” by Stephen King – Three Reasons

“Talent renders the whole idea of rehearsal meaningless; when you find something at which you are talented, you do it (whatever it is) until your fingers bleed or your eyes are ready to fall out of your head. Even when no one is listening (or reading or watching), every outing is a bravura performance, because you as the creator are happy. Perhaps even ecstatic.” -Stephen King, “On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft”

(1) One of the best books ever written about the craft of writing…You get gems like this: “The road to hell is paved with adverbs.”…Buy it. Read it. Get writing!

(2) It takes two…We all need a co-conspirator. No one does it alone. King credits his wife Tabitha for much of his success. He tells a beautiful, inspiring story about just how poor they were, his constant rejection, how much he struggled, wanted to quit, but Tabitha wouldn’t let him. She was all in and behind him no matter what. When you get to the part where they celebrate after “Carrie” is published, you will be weeping with joy.

(3) Watch King’s 2003 National Book Award speech. It’s magnificent. (You can also read the transcript here.)…A little snippet to take us out…

My point is that Tabby always knew what I was supposed to be doing and she believed that I would succeed at it. There is a time in the lives of most writers when they are vulnerable, when the vivid dreams and ambitions of childhood seem to pale in the harsh sunlight of what we call the real world. In short, there’s a time when things can go either way.

That vulnerable time for me came during 1971 to 1973. If my wife had suggested to me even with love and kindness and gentleness rather than her more common wit and good natured sarcasm that the time had come to put my dreams away and support my family, I would have done that with no complaint. I believe that on some level of thought I was expecting to have that conversation. If she had suggested that you can’t buy a loaf of bread or a tube of toothpaste with rejection slips, I would have gone out and found a part time job.

Tabby has told me since that it never crossed her mind to have such a conversation. You had a second job, she said, in the laundry room with my typewriter.

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