Growing up if J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter was demonic then Stephen King was the devil himself. I’ve had this stigma about him all my life. His books are untouchable. He writes horror, they shouldn’t be read. Until I realized that my goodness I am twenty six years old and I can read whatever I choose.
Don’t worry, I didn’t go straight for It or Carrie because I don’t think they are particularly my cup of tea. Perhaps I’ll read Christine one day simply because that’s my middle name and who doesn’t love a good suspense about a car with a vendetta? Who knows, we’ll see.
I was stumped after reading Mary Poppins and terrified of losing the momentum I’d acquired in my reading this year. That’s when I toyed with the idea of reading a Stephen King novel. For the past couple years King has unexpectedly become an inspiration in my writing. In desperate searches for substance during my many writing blocks I’d find quotes of his or snippets from his books always surprised to hear they were King’s.
The place where you made your stand never mattered. Only that you were there… and still on your feet.
You cannot hope to sweep someone else away by the force of your writing until it has been done to you.
Precisely. As an avid reader I’m desperate to become an avid writer. Whenever I’d hit those road blocks in my writing I’d consider King’s words.
If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others; read a lot and write a lot. There’s no way around these two things that I’m aware of, no shortcut.
If you don’t have the time to read, you don’t have the time or the tools to write.
These words have done wonders for me when I didn’t feel the urge to write. I could feel it welling up from somewhere deep down, but it would never reach the surface until I simply sit down to give it the time of day. I’ll often jot down terrible beginnings and even worse middles. The important thing is that I got something down. Eventually it’d turn into something substantial or it branched a new train of thought for a new post. During the times when I feel absolutely discouraged or uninspired I’ll use this quote as an excuse to read. That’s where I’ve been all this time. Nose buried in books. I may not be up to date on my writing this year but my reading has become a satisfying escape which I’ve convinced myself is an important tool in writing. I’ll take King’s word on that one.
I know what you’re thinking, this is the man who’s mind came up with Pennywise that terrifying shapeshifting clown. Did I get that right? The man who has written so much horror. But he’s also the mind behind many other suspenseful books and a captivating memoir which is definitely next on my list. Plus this ↓ This right here is a writer’s gold. This is everything I feel as I sit here time after time attempting to bear my soul.
The most important things are the hardest to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them — words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were in your head to no more than living size when they’re brought out. But it’s more than that, isn’t it? The most important things lie too close to wherever your secret heart is buried, like landmarks to a treasure your enemies would love to steal away. And you may make revelations that cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding what you’ve said at all, or why you thought it was so important that you almost cried while you were saying it. That’s the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within not for want of a teller but for want of an understanding ear.
When Brandon shared the trailer for The Dark Tower movie I knew it was time. Time to finally read one of the books of this author I have admired for so long. I shared with Nadir through unsure gritted teeth that I was thinking about reading a Stephen King novel.
After I explained why her next words were “Hey if he inspires you then I say go for it.” That evening I popped on my kindle and devoured the first few pages of the The Gunslinger. I figured it was a fitting choice as I’d read that King was inspired by Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, thus he created the Dark Tower series.
In under a week later I finished The Gunslinger and have now been flipping between his memoir On Writing and the second book in the Dark Tower series The Drawing of the Three. Which I recently picked up at the library. Or as I like to call it The Happiest Place on Earth. Move over Disney.