Weekend Workshop: Encouragement from King

It seems to me all writers get a little nervous sometimes. They wonder if they have what it takes. Do they have the desire to hoe what has become a very long row to get anywhere in this business? Do they have enough to sustain themselves? Do they have enough ideas to write ten books before anyone notices they’re publishing their little hearts out?

Or am I just a talentless hack who should hang up my keyboard before I get any further behind?

Once upon a time I would have thought it was just me who felt that way, but I know better now. Art is by definition a soul baring, emotional enterprise. And laying yourself open for others to judge cannot help but cause you to question yourself.

Have a few quotes from Stephen King, culled from his autobiography On Writing, apply them as a balm to your aching muse or save them for when the words are mocking you…your choice.

Large numbers of people have at least some talent as writers and those talents can be strengthened and sharpened. (18)

If a large number of people have talent, chances are good that you do too.

ambition, desire, luck, and a little talent all played a part. (18)

See a little talent. You only need a little. You just have to work at it. And be lucky. I’m hoping you only need the luck to be Stephen King famous and successful. I have much less ambition. I’ll be excited when my sales start to cover the cost that goes into the book and maybe a celebratory cocktail. LOL

if you write someone will try to make you feel lousy about it, that’s all. (50)

Oh, so the jerks just come with the territory, it isn’t personal. That’s refreshing.

Running a close second was the realization that stopping a piece of work just because it’s hard, either emotionally or imaginatively, is a bad idea. Sometimes you have to go on when you don’t feel like it, and sometimes you’re doing good work when it feels like all you’re managing is to shovel shit…(77)

When I read about a famous, successful author who feels like all he is doing is shoveling shit, I suddenly feel way better about my manure covered garden spade. And I think maybe I should get a bigger shovel?

The hours we spend talking about writing is time we don’t spend actually doing it. (144)

Point taken, oh wise one, I’m off to write.

In case you’re bored this weekend, why not check out OddMall in Everett. It’s the festival of everything odd, geeky, or weird. Not to mention FreeValley Publishing will be there and you can grab a copy of my book, Scripting the Truth, or any number of awesome sci fi, fantasy, or romance novels written by my compatriots.



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