On Writing: Words of Wisdom from Stephen King

 

 

Stephen King shares his personal life story and philosophy on learning to write well in his book, On Writing: 10th Anniversary Edition: A Memoir of the Craft. As he says, “I believe large numbers of people have at least some talent as writers and storytellers, and that those talents can be strengthened and sharpened.” I highly recommend this book and every writer will gather new tools for their writing toolbox.

King talks about his rejection letters and about lack of support from those around you. He says, “I realized that almost every writer of fiction and poetry who has ever published a line has been accused by someone of wasting his or her God-given talent. If you write (or paint or dance or sculpt or sing, I suppose), someone will try to make you feel lousy about it, that’s all.” King’s dramas and traumas in childhood as well as his successes and suggestions will inspire you to write more.

King’s first editor taught him: “When you write a story, you’re telling yourself the story,” he said. “When you rewrite, your main job is taking out all the things that are not the story.”  Using ideas and tips from King’s book, we are working on taking 10% out of our memoir of our first sabbatical in Asia.

I really appreciate King’s clear examples. “The timid fellow writes: The meeting will be held at seven o’clock because that somehow says to him, “Put it this way and people will believe you really know.” Purge this quisling thought! Don’t be a muggle! Throw back your shoulders, stick out your chin, and put that meeting in charge! Write The meeting’s at seven. There, by God! Don’t you feel better?”

Inspiration from his book:

Good writing is often about letting go of fear and affectation.

Reading is the creative center of a writer’s life.

The combination of a healthy body and a stable relationship with a self-reliant woman who takes zero shit from me or anyone else has made the continuity of my working life possible. And I believe the converse is also true: that my writing and the pleasure I take in it has contributed to the stability of my health and my home life.

Writing isn’t about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid, or making friends. In the end, it’s about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life, as well. It’s about getting up, getting well, and getting over. Getting happy, okay? Getting happy.

 Writing is magic, as much the water of life as any other creative art. The water is free. So drink. Drink and be filled up.

Practice the craft and participate in our Travel Writing Contest:

Now that you are inspired by Stephen King’s words of wisdom, we hope you will choose to send your stories to us for our Independence Travel Writing Contest. It is free to enter. Contest closes July 4, 2013. $1,000usd in CASH prizes. Click here for all the details.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lisa Ellen Niver

Lisa Ellen Niver, M.A. Education, is a television host, travel journalist as well as a passionate artist, educator and writer who has explored 101 countries, 6 continents and sailed on cruise ships for seven years on the high seas and backpacked for three years in Asia. She is the founder of We Said Go Travel which was read in 212 countries in 2018 and named #3 on the top 1000 Travel Blog and the top female travel blogger 3 times in 2019. Find her talking travel at KTLA TV and in her We Said Go Travel videos with over one million views on her YouTube channel. She has hosted Facebook Live for USA Today 10best, is verified on both Twitter and Facebook, has over 150,000 followers across social media and ran fifteen travel competitions publishing over 2500 writers and photographers from 75 countries. She has been a finalist for six Southern California Journalism Awards in the past three years and won an award for her Jewish Journal article. Niver has written for AARP, American Airways, Delta Sky, En Route (Air Canada), Hemispheres (United Airlines), Jewish Journal, Luxury Magazine, Ms. Magazine, Myanmar Times, National Geographic, POPSUGAR, Robb Report, Saturday Evening Post, Scuba Diver Life, Sierra Club, Ski Utah, Smithsonian, Trivago, USA Today 10best, Wharton Magazine and Yahoo. She is writing a book, “Brave Rebel: 50 Scary Challenges Before 50,” about her most recent travels and challenges. Look for her underwater SCUBA diving, in her art studio making ceramics or helping people find their next dream trip. http://lisaniver.com/one-page/

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