I read ‘On Writing’ whilst travelling from Coffs Harbour to Sydney by rail. It's a tedious journey at best, approximately 8 hours but the aid of a good book can make all the difference. Not being a fan of King I approached the situation with some trepidation, having been given the book to read by a former creative writing teacher. Normally on such a trip books aren’t enough to keep my mind happy so I generally write, although the motion of the train makes this a difficult proposition. Once into the first few pages I realised I was hooked. King has such a brilliant way with words, hence his success, but it was the 'inside info' he revealed that worked for me. Being an aspiring writer I appreciate any advice offered and such honesty from undeniably one of the world’s best ever authors is a wonderful gift for all. "Where does it come from" was one of the main topics of interest to me personally. King's response was very surprising for one so recognised in his field. "I don't know" or words to that effect. How bizarre? I'd always assumed writers of King's calibre would have a very structured theory behind the content of their novels. I have no idea where my own stories come from so it was validating I guess to hear this from King himself. Many would-be writers are put off by the possibility of matching such a brilliant mind, feeling they can’t compete with the famous authors of the past and present. King makes no secret of where he came from and the difficulties he faced in becoming discovered. We all have to start at the bottom rung of the ladder but many don’t have the time or confidence. He imbues confidence in even the least confident writer. For anyone desiring to hone their craft I can highly recommend this book. I now refer to it quite regularly in regard to many aspects of my writing. After reading this book and using the tools it offers even those just beginning their creative journey will have the confidence in their work to proceed.
Happy reading and better writing.