A number of years ago, Stephen King wrote a book about writing. I remember reading it and feeling energized and hopeful about what might be possible more me and my writing. Best of all, it was a terrific book with just the right amount of good advice, humor, and straight talk about the craft.
Recently, I downloaded the audio book so that I could listen to it again. And this time it's even better. Here are just a few bits of great advice and insight from my time with it yesterday...
"The first time you write, you write the story to yourself. When you go back to edit and re-write you take all of the things that are not the story out."
"Write with the door closed, then re-write with the door open."
"Just because something is hard, writing wise, doesn't give you the right to walk away from it, even if all it feels like you're doing is shoveling shit from a chair."
"When writing, use the first word that comes to your mind."
"Any word, is only a representation of the meaning you are attempting to convey."
"The road to hell is paved with adverbs and I'll shout it from the rooftops if I have to!"
"Adverbs are like dandelions. One can appear and look appear pretty and innocent. Then suddenly, more appear and if you don't take care of the problem, soon your entire yard is full of them and it's an ugly mess."
"Writing is refined thinking."
"Reading is the creative center of a writer's life."
"if you intend to write as truthfully as you can, your days of running the the polite society are numbered."
I have chosen not to elaborate on any of these for now. They speak for themselves. I encourage you though, to read Steve's book (On Writing: A memoir of the Craft). Even the title of the book is a clear statement that this is not a book full of useless boring advise that probably isn't helpful. Steve's ability to weave in stories of his life while making his points is direct, funny, and effective.
This book changed my writing life forever. I trust that it has the potential to do the same for you - but only if you read it...