I’ve finally done it. I have managed to get my grubby little paws on On Writing by Stephen King. Been looking for it since forever, but just didn’t seem to find a copy.
But a few weeks ago, I meandered through the library shelves and there it was along with five (I think) other books on writing.
Sadly, revisions (and headaches) being as they were, I didn’t start reading immediately. But last week my revisions ground to a halt and even though I did revise yesterday, something didn’t feel right. It felt as if for every spot that my internal editor pointed out, my inner critic was listing my writing weaknesses.
And fighting my inner crittic is best done away from my WiP, because the collateral damage can be significant.
So I dug through my bag, thinking that I’ll keep Mr. King for last. But then I thought… what the hell, I only have a little reading time. Might as well start in on the one I’ve been wanting to read.
Man am I glad. It blew me away. I’m not completely done, but I’m planning to finish it by this evening. I’m thinking that I want to spend one or two (or more) posts on sharing what I’ve learned. I hope that’s alright with you all.
The second thing (I’ll deal with the first on Thursday) that stood out above everything else was Mr. King’s emphasis on the need to read.
As I read that, I realized that I’ve actually been neglecting a vital facet to my writing. I have to read. Even if revisions and writing suck me in. Because if I don’t, I’m basically blunting my writing tools.
Bad books teach me the lessons. How NOT to do things. Good books give me something to aspire to. They show me the lengths that writing can go if given the scope to do so. If I don’t read either of the above sorts of books, I’m going to miss out on some vital information.
If I don’t read often, I’m basically making myself write blind. So doing, I’m robbing my muse of oxygen.
All in all, not a smart thing. Because my muse is usually the one that beats up my inner critic.
Lesson learnt, Mr. King.
I won’t be able to do six to eight hours a day, but I’ll be able to manage two to four. Already better than two to four hours a week.
Anyone else who read On Writing? Which lessons stood out to you?
How many hours do you spend reading?