Wednesday, January 7, 2009

More From Steven King

Since I seem to be on the roll with encouraging posts this week (and why not? you guys are forever giving me phenomenal encouragement), I thought I'd give another good chunk from Steven King's On Writing.

He says:

You can approach the act of writing with nervousness, excitement, hopefulness, or even despair--the sense that you can never completely put on the page what's in your mind and heart. You can come to the act with your fists clenched and your eyes narrowed, ready to kick &$! and take down names. You can come to it because you want a girl to marry you or because you want to change the world. Come to it any way but lightly. Let me say it again: you must not come lightly to the blank page.

I'm not asking you to come reverently or unquestioningly; I'm not asking you to be politically correct or cast aside your sense of humor... This isn't a popularity contest, it's not the moral Olympics, and it's not church. But it's writing... not washing the car or putting on eyeliner. If you can take it seriously, we can do business. If you can't or won't, it's time for you to close the book and do something else.

Wash the car, maybe.

23 comments:

Angie Ledbetter said...

...you must not come lightly to the blank page.

And as Hem said, "Write one true sentence." :)

Joanne said...

My guess is that there are a lot of dirty cars among your readers here, Janna! We're a serious writing lot, supporting eachother on this journey.

WendyCinNYC said...

Very apropos for me at this moment. Thanks.

Jen said...

Uncle Stevie, tellin' it like it is.

I *heart* this book! Good pick for an excerpt, Janna. :)

Melanie Avila said...

That's just the kick in the pants I needed this morning. Thanks. :)

Barbara said...

Oh, I've got to buy that book!!

Ang said...

Very inspiring. I really needed to read that today. I have been struggling lately with writing and discipline. Thank you for sharing.

Melissa Marsh said...

My car is definitely dirty. *grin*

King has such great advice - he gets straight to the point.

Janna Qualman said...

Angie - Ooh! That's a new quote to me. Thanks!

Joanne - Much to misterwrites's disappointment, my car if often quite, quite dirty. Inside AND out. :D

Wendy - Good! :)

Jen - No doubt! I lurve it, too.

Melanie - I'm so glad I posted this today, then! :)

Barbara - Yeah, I think you should. Not everyone agrees with all his techniques and theories, but he's got a lot of (founded) widsom.

Ang - You are so welcome! Good luck!

Melissa - You and me both. Shh... ;)

Donna M. Kohlstrom said...

Love his book! Read it twice and past it along. Think my writing groups are sick of hearing me quote Steven King! LOL! His book has helped me a lot on this writing journey.

Kathryn Magendie said...

Sk is a pretty cool guy - and a master at character development. I need to pull out my copy of On Writing and look at it again from a new perspective of where I am now in my writing life.

Terri Tiffany said...

LOL--I loved his book--loved the quote! We all need encouragement so much and coming here gives me a big dose!! thank you!

Janna Qualman said...

Donna - Another On Writing fan steps out from the wings! ;)

Kathryn - I think that's a great idea! His words can certainly refresh one's focus again and again.

Terri - I love hearing that! Thank you.

Jessica said...

Well said. Just keep posting chunks and I get free advice! Thanks :-)

kimmirich said...

Great excerpt, Janna, thanks for sharing!

Rafael said...

Attack the empty page with wild abandon!

Oh yeah!

thedomesticfringe said...

Ooohhh, he means business. I don't approach anything lightly these days, especially since I ate my body weight in Christmas cookies.

Happy Writing and Reading!
-FringeGirl

Yolanda said...

Janna, Thanks for your response on my post. It is my hope that she will find something in what I write.

Michaéle said...

I'm off to B&N to buy this book! I was interested in it the moment you mentioned it! Thanks for sharing!

Rafael said...

@Michaele:

A must buy. Recommended by a friend of mien and after reading this post, I may just read it again.

Janna Qualman said...

Jessica - *snicker* Will do!

Kimmi - Sure thing. :)

Rafael - I think I like your phrasing better! :D

FringeGirl - *snort* You make me giggle.

Yolanda - I know what you mean, and I'll pray for the same.

Michaéle - Awesome! I'll expect a full report once you've read a bit.

And Rafael (again, sheesh) - Right on! ;)

Pink Ink said...

*not a popularity contest* I like that thought.

Okay, I'm taking off my gloves and my goody-two shoes are off, too...

Janna Qualman said...

To work, Jewel!