One of my goals for the year is to read more books. I’ve always been an avid reader, but my progress has slowly decreased over the years. I had an ever growing pile of books in my bedroom that I could never keep up with, until I moved to Germany and decided to sell most of it – a dumb decision I still don’t understand, I mean I miss those books! The good thing is I still have a lot left and I persist on buying new ones, even if it means they’ll just sit on a shelf for months until I decide I’m ready to read them. It’s funny but I go through phases: sometimes I devour books, sometimes I can’t seem to get past the first page.
Last month I read On Writing, by Stephen King, a book I’d been wanting to read for years. Funnily enough, I’ve never 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 because he wrote The Body, a novella published in Different Seasons, that is one of my all time favorite stories and also the inspiration behind Stand by me, one of my favorite movies. I just love how he perfectly captures the innocence of young boys growing up and on the verge of becoming young teenagers and losing that pure innocence. It’s beautiful and I love the tone of nostalgia it has.
On Writing, a book everyone 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 road to success. It’s great because he doesn’t glamorize any aspects of being a writer, he’s very honest about his struggles and it’s good 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 about his writing process, how most of his novels came to life and gives honest and at times, harsh advice on how to become an authentic writer. He’s practical and pragmatic. But I think that 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 hard work, there’s 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.