One of my recent goals is to read more books. I’ve always been an avid reader, but my reading habit is never consistent, but ebbs and flows more than anything. I used to have an ever growing pile of books in my bedroom that I could never keep up with before moving to Germany and selling most of it – and I still miss those books! The good thing is I still have a lot left and I insist on buying new ones, even if it means they’ll just sit on a shelf for months until I decide I’m ready to pick them up. It’s funny how I go through phases: sometimes I devour books, sometimes I can’t seem to get past the first page.
A while ago I read On Writing, by Stephen King, a book I’d been wanting to read for years. Funnily enough, I’ve never actually read any of King’s famous thriller books. I’ve only read The Shawshank Redemption and Different Seasons, but I’ve always had a special place in my heart for him for writing The Body, a novella published in Different Seasons, that is one of my all time favourite stories and also the inspiration behind Stand by me, one of my favourite movies. I just love how he perfectly captures the innocence of young boys growing up, on the verge of becoming teenagers and about losing that sweet innocence. It’s beautiful and it encapsulates childhood and nostalgia perfectly.
On Writing, a book everyone who reads recommends, was quite an inspiring read. King walks us thorough his life growing up, and talks extensively about his failures and successes. Despite all his unbelievable accomplishments in the writing world, his life hasn’t always been extraordinary, things didn’t happen all of a sudden and it was a long, exhaustive road to success. It’s wonderful because he doesn’t glamorize any aspects of being a writer. He’s very honest about his struggles and it’s so refreshing to be reminded that if you want to accomplish anything in life you have to commit and do the work. There’s no easy way.
He shares his writing process, how most of his novels came to life and gives the reader honest, and at times, harsh advice on how to become an authentic writer. He’s practical and pragmatic. But I think what truly stuck with me in the end was that there’s no easy way. There’s no shortcut, there’s no formula. There’s just hard work and honesty, there’s growing up and giving it all you got. We are a growing culture of impatience and demand for instant results, but On Writing will remind you that no matter how much the world changes, some things remain the same. And if you want to get somewhere, discipline and hard work will lead you there eventually.