Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Read a lot, Write a lot

"If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. " Stephen King.

You may not like his books, but you must acknowledge the man is getting the job done.  This quote is from his book On Writing: A memoir of the craft.

This book, and many other books on writing crowd my shelf.  Too many probably - I may have spent a little too much time reading up on how to do it, vs. actually just doing it.

I read the book a long time ago, but a couple of other points also stuck with me:

*Write and the same time and same spot everyday. If the muse doesn't know where you are, she can't find you (paraphrased).  --- I thought this was key, even though I hardly lived up to , with technology (such as dropbox), I write wherever and whenever I can -- the important thing is to write often. And I think that is his real main point.

*You don't need a big writing desk. We all dream of the perfect writers nook -- an urban loft, a backyard woodsy cabin, a beach house with an ocean view.  Stephen King points out that he had that perfect nook, a large oak desk, and all he did was sit there and drink whiskey.  He got more  writing done when he was injured in his car accident, and wrote on a small laptop in the hallway.  He wrote a whole book there.

Thumbing through the book know, there is lots of other practical advise, like not needing to worry about having a big impressive vocabulary - every writer uses their skills and tools differently.

When I read through his books, I hardly imagined that he struggled through drafts, and plot points, and vocabulary, and revisions, and edits.  But just like anybody else, he did it.

One word at a time.

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