On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

By Stephen King

On Writing homeMaybe it’s because I was born in the San Fernando Valley, home of the Valley Girl, that I don’t really care for the word awesome. I’m not sure whether Moon Zappa used it or not, but it’s seems like a Valley word to me. And I didn’t move all the way from California to the East Coast because I liked the Valley.

That’s probably more information than you need to know about me, but I wrote it for a reason. I want you to know there has to be a special reason for me to call anything awesome. So, with that explanation out of the way, here’s my assessment of Stephen King’s On Writing: it’s awesome.

Part memoir and part writing primer, this book is a must-read for anyone who writes — or reads, for that matter. King’s life story, which takes up the first half of the book, would be interesting even if the prose weren’t well written. But it is, and his accessible writing style elevates the material even more.

As interesting as the first half is, the second half is the reason I’m writing this review. Full of tips for writers, On Writing not only educates; it inspires. King obviously loves the craft of writing, and not just for the enormous amount of money it has earned him. In this book, he honestly lays bare his own creative process, which happened to incorporate a life-threatening car crash and the struggle to came back to productivity again. He then goes on to hand out excellent common sense advice and practical tips for writers, along with sincere encouragement.

So if you ever feel your creative gas tank getting low, I highly recommend this awesome little book. If you’re like me, you’ll walk away inspired.

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