I’ve been writing for a while now. It’s always been a thing for me since 6th grade. But I’ve always been a reader too. I had a difficult time reading in first grade so my Mom signed my sister and I up for a tutor. I hated it. Always going to read after school and on weekends. It took so much of my time up!
Then one day my brain opened up and I found I was taken to another world on each visit. I could escape reality in these books. So I dug my heels in and let myself be devoured by each page. It was exhilarating. Characters jumped from the pages and became a part of my life. I looked forward to each visit and with dedication I was reading above my grade level. I wanted to read more!
I started with Goosebumps and the world of horror became my obsession. I was flowing through each book and soon I was diving into the world of adult fiction. Mom knew I loved horror so she brought me to the bookstore to show her favorite horror authors, Dean Koontz and Stephen King. I picked up a few books by each author, but one book caught my attention the most. It had a picture of a clown on it.
Mom was concern because it was such a thick book. She thought I might struggle. But I wanted to read it because it had kids as the protagonists. Though I did have some struggle reading it because it was more advanced than I thought, I was just 9 years old, by the time I was done I had a great fascination with King’s books. He brought the monstrous tale of an insidious clown to life with a great cast of characters. His vivid descriptions kept me turning each page. So I picked up his other books like Pet Cemetery and The Stand. Then I found his short stories…which have some of the best characters! A Good Marriage, Autopsy Room 4, Mile 81, Children of the Corn, The Mist, The Body, The Shawshank Redemption, and more where some of the best stories I’ve read. A great need to write started prickling in the back of my brain. So I started to write, not horror mind you, but with my kid brain I wrote about my other obsession…dragons!
It wasn’t easy. I never finished a story or novel but I kept writing for fun. Years later I began to take it seriously and started signing up for classes. Then one day I was told by a professor to get Stephen King’s On Writing. Wait what? My favorite author wrote a book for writers?!
So I picked it up and read it. The books spoke of King’s life as a writer and honed in on the writer’s craft. It was something I desperately needed but wasn’t aware of it until now. I found this book inspiring and ignite my passion for writing with such enthusiasm that I wrote my first novel, from start to finish, in two months. It was a disaster but I had finally finished a book! I attended writing conferences and author signings. There are wonderful points you can learn at these events to enhance your writing, understanding the writing world, and what other authors go through. I highly recommend if you are a new writer or have been writing for a while to attended conferences, classes and signings. You learn so much.
So as I sit here writing my fifth novel-I have yet to find one I feel is “the one” to query and edit, but that is for another post- I have the dreaded writer’s block. So I picked up King’s On Writing and glanced through my highlights. I then picked up his newest short stories release The Bazaar of Bad Dreams and read a couple of stories. My brain relaxed and I fell under King’s spell once again. The itch to write returned. Everyone has a way to deal with writer’s block, mine goes to King and his ingenious words. He somehow pulls me out of the darkness of my mind and I have my ah ha moment.
I highly recommend you read King’s book On Writing. It will give you a wonderful insight in the writing world with fantastic pointers to the process of writing. Here is another book I find helpful while writing called The Emotional Thesaurus. It helps with different types of emotions for characters and the many words and actions that go with that meaning.
Good luck on your writing!