When looking for advice “on writing” a horror novel (that’s right, I just dropped a hint about the genre of the novel I’m currently working on and inserted a super witty pun at the same time), who better to emulate than the Master of Horror himself?! Better yet, why not take advice directly from his memoir, On Writing? It’s a no-brainer (zombie pun, sorry not sorry).
Listen, I am a huge Stephen King fan. That being said, if you read NOTHING ELSE by this genius man (which would be a shame), then please pick up a copy of On Writing, especially if you’re an aspiring writer. You can order a copy here. It’s not creepy, but it’s full of literary gold nuggets (which is what this blog is all about!) and some really great advice from the guy who does it best.
What is this quote supposed to mean, though? Aren’t all geniuses struck by inspiration at some point? And don’t a lot of amateurs just get up and go to work? The point is, if you want to be a writer, the most important thing to do is to just keep writing. No matter what you’re writing about, as long as you’re putting pen to paper, you’re working that literary muscle. I’ve been taking this advice with the novel I’m currently working on by setting a goal for myself: one to two thousand words a day for two months. If I keep on track (which I have been able to do so far), I’ll reach my 80,000 word goal for my novel by the end of March.
I know what you’re thinking. If all I do is put down words to reach some arbitrary goal without focusing on quality or the meaning behind them, won’t my novel be trash? Well, maybe (I hope not). But what I’ve found so far is the opposite. By forcing myself to write every day, that metaphorical muscle is worked consistently, and I feel not only more excited about my story and the characters, but that the quality of my work has improved as well.
I’m sure that not all of you reading this are writers, however. So, assuming I haven’t lost you yet, what does this quote mean for you? Just get up and go to work, hell with inspiration! Shame on me, I’m about to make another assumption here: You’re probably more likely to have watched Finding Nemo than to have read a Stephen King book cover to cover (no, watching the remake of Pet Semetery doesn’t count). So, like Dory says: just keep swimming. Like my grandmother always says, fake it ’til ya make it.
The point is, there are times in life when we are all lacking motivation or inspiration. The most important thing is that you don’t quit. Get up and make your bed when you don’t feel like it. Write the first paragraph of that bestseller you have in your head. Start that blog you’ve always wanted to start when you already have way too much on your plate (making fun of myself here). Put your sneakers on and go for that walk. Just get up and go to work, and, before you know it, you’ll be well on your way to where you want to be. News flash: if you wait for the perfect moment, all of your moments will be spent waiting. Nothing in life is ever perfect. Just. Get. Up. And. Go. To. Work. That’s the secret. Don’t take it from me, take it from the guy who has sold 350 million books and has made more money than you or I would know what to do with.
Lastly, I alluded a couple of times to my soon-to-be-bestselling novel in this post. Why? My next post is going to feature a quote from it for the first time. Maybe even an excerpt. Guys, this is a big deal for me. I’ve always been super self-conscious about the work I care most about and really reluctant to share it, but it’s something I know I have to do. These quotes and excepts will now appear regularly on this blog, so keep reading for sneak peeks of my work. Heck, if you follow this blog religiously you may be able to read most my book without buying it, saving yourself about $14.99. Don’t say I didn’t give you anything.
Stay creepy, friends. And just go to work. At whatever. Anything. Just do it.