Non-Fiction Week: On Writing

Cover of "On Writing:  A Memoir of the Cr...

Cover via Amazon

Rating: 4 out of 5

Today is the last day of non-fiction week, and I’d be lying if I said I’m sad that it’s over. Turns out blogging for five consecutive days is a lot harder than I imagined. On the bright side, I’ve reached a new milestone of 30,000 total views, so that makes all the work worth it!

I am glad, however, that I chose Stephen King’s On Writing as my last piece of non-fiction. I’ve never actually read one of King’s fictional novels, because I’m a huge scaredy-cat, but this half-memoir, half-writing-guidebook was one of my favorite books from my creative writing classes at UC Santa Cruz.

On Writing (2000) is great precisely because King has lived a fascinating life. I appreciated his honesty when discussing his drug abuse and enjoyed excerpts where he explained the origin stories of his novels (for example, did you know that it was King’s stint as a janitor cleaning girls’ locker rooms that led to Carrie?)

And let’s face it, King is so crazy rich and famous in the literary world that it’s natural to be curious to learn his secret to success. Readers usually love the “Toolbox” chapter the most, as he lays down his rules to good writing.

Here are a few of my favorite quotes, courtesy of Goodreads:

  • “The road to hell is paved with adverbs.”
  • “Write with the door closed, rewrite with the door open.” 
  • “Can I be blunt on this subject? If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”
  • “Sometimes you have to go on when you don’t feel like it, and sometimes you’re doing good work when it feels like all you’re managing is to shovel shit from a sitting position.”

King also shares edits of his own work and ends with a list of the books which most influenced him. I like his straight-shooting, unapologetic approach to writing, and I’m still reminded of his advice years after reading it.

And speaking of reading, I know that it seems a travesty that I haven’t read more of King. Anyone want to recommend a book or series of his that won’t give me nightmares? Please and thanks!

I hope that you’ve enjoyed Non-Fiction Week here at Book Club Babe! Now it’s time for me to enjoy the weekend!

2 thoughts on “Non-Fiction Week: On Writing

  1. This is one of my favorite books on writing. I totally forgot about the quote, “The road to hell is paved with adverbs.” So true! I also like how he starts the book saying this will not be a memoir, and proceeds to basically write a memoir for the first half of a book. I guess he figures he can do whatever he wants.

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