On Writing

Halfway through last year I began to write for fun. I quickly realized that I was pretty awful. I can construct sentences reasonably well, have never had trouble spelling, and have a decent grasp of grammar (let’s see how many errors I make now) but cannot, for the life of me, get what’s in my head onto the page.

By the end of the year I was writing enough that I wanted a little bit of help. If I was to continue I didn’t want to cringe every time I reread a story of mine. I also didn’t want to trudge through textbooks or grammar manuals. This is a hobby after all.

With that caveat in mind, On Writing was far and away the most recommended writing book I came across. Every list I sifted through and every article I read mentioned it. I couldn’t avoid it so I gave it shot.

This is the first of King’s work I’ve read and boy, it was phenomenal. The love of his craft shines through and punches you in the face. It’s infectious. If I didn’t know any better I’d say I’m now an aspiring novelist. That I’m not by any means speaks to the power of the written word.

On Writing is chock full of motivation and advice that I’m sure I’ll reference years. This in particular stood out: “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write.” Read and Write. One thing I’ve always loved and one newfound passion. Read and Write. That, Mr. King, I can do.

Rating: 5 out of 5

In Progress: East of Eden by John Steinbeck and The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin

On Deck: Pastoralia by George Saunders

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