On Writing

I didn’t know about Stephen King before reading this book. I had never even read any of his books. What made me jump into reading this book is, a year ago, a friend was reading it and he kept on telling me about it. I got curious…and the rest, as they say, is history.

(Yes! Get yourself friends who also talk to you about books they are reading)

Now, this is not your ordinary memoir. It’s also a practical guide to the craft of writing that an aspiring writer can pick up.

Hapo kwa aspiring writer, let me tell you about what happened this week. I was approached by a writer who wanted me to take part in coming up with an anthology of short stories. Imagine…me, a simple me…doing that!

Anyway, I digress…let’s get back to the book.

I gathered a few tips (out of the many) that I am sharing with you:

Write for Yourself First

“When you’re writing a story, you’re telling yourself a story. When you rewrite, you’re taking out all the things that are not the story.”

Write with the door closed, rewrite with the door open.

Stephen learned this from his boss and editor, at his writing job.

As you write the first draft, do not let anything interfere with your story. Write it down as it comes, even with all the mistakes. Once you have finished the first draft, rewrite it this time with an open mind.

Write Every Day

“Once I start work on a project, I don’t stop and I don’t slow down unless I absolutely have to. If I don’t write every day, the characters begin to stale off in my mind — they begin to seemlike characters instead of real people. The tale’s narrative cutting edge starts to rust and I begin to lose my hold on the story’s plot and pace.”

I knew about this before reading the book. It was reaffirmed as I read the book.

Whether you are writing a blog post, a book, an article, or whatever it may be, write every day. This way, you will preserve the main idea.

Let go of Your Fear to Impress

“Good writing is often about letting go of fear and affectation, Affectation itself, beginning with the need to define some sort of writing as ‘good’ and other sorts as ‘bad’, is fearful behavior. Good writing is also about making good choices when it comes to picking the tools you plan to work with.”

Fear is at the root of most bad writing. Don’t over-explain out of fear of misunderstanding.

Just do it

“The hours we spend talking about writing is time we don’t spend actually doing it.”

If you have been planning to write for a while, stop reading this, and start writing. Procrastination can truly slow us down. But push yourself to do it. No matter the excuses you may have.

Read

“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or tools) to write.”

People read for various reasons. I, for one, read for entertainment, inspiration, and a few times, to build knowledge.

When you read, you can learn from others.

To be honest, there are numerous lessons to be picked all through the book.

Although I may not read any of his works of fiction, I appreciated the tips in this book and would highly recommend it to anyone aspiring to write.

See You Next Week!

Let's be friends. Let's hang out every week, catch up, and just have a good time. PS: Tell a friend to tell a friend where we meet 🙂

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