Thursday, October 13, 2016

Motivated By The Masters

I am reading On Writing by Stephen King. I have only managed to make it through the first section which is just various recounting of his youth and how he got started in the writing business. It was within these for hundred pages or so that I found myself motivated to take the leap I have been balancing on the edge of for some time.

He talks about sending off short stories and getting rejection letters but instead of finding depression he used it to spur him on. He put up a nail in his wall to hang the letters on and when there were too many for the small nail he switched to a larger spike. He writes about his lack of knowledge about the industry as a whole, he didn't have an agent, he had no idea how to negotiate and his first advance was only 2,500. While I would personally give almost anything to have an advance like that, purely to say I had gotten an advance, it was very small but he was clueless to that fact.

He goes on to share that he had nearly given up on a story that would become one of his best known works because it was difficult. He did not feel connected to the character and found the setting so foreign he had trouble navigating his own book. It was because of the love and support of his wife that he finished the project and continued to pursue his dream. She always believed in him and has helped make a home that allows him to not only be the prolific writer he is today but also the family man he loves to be as well.

He shared that the support Tabitha showed him went beyond writing and being the mother of his children as she staged an intervention when he became addicted to drugs and alcohol. He admits his own issues and says that he believes there is no such thing as a need for artists to engage in these behaviors. It is a myth that they help or enhance anything. Those in the arts may be more prone to using such substances but they are not necessary.

As someone that has struggled with different addictions, drugs, alcohol and in my case the ever present and calling food addiction, it is powerful to see someone I look up to so much admit they have fought the battle as well. Stephen King is a dedicated writer. He pushes out several projects each year and is always elbow deep in the next one between writing, edits and rewrites and making sure to have time for his family. I struggle to find the balance especially since I want to dedicate time like a full time author but I have another full time day job. I have a fire lit within me and reading his words has stoked the flames. I am looking forward to the next level of my writing career. Thank you Mr. King.

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