Life Isn’t a Support System for Art

October 18, 2012

Last week, before I left for my road trip, I finished Stephen King’s On Writing. I’d borrowed it from friends a few weeks before. Somehow I started reading it without any intentions to and it grabbed a hold of me again. This is one of only a few books (less than 5) that I’ve read more than once.

I’ve noticed my tolerance for crappy books is down and my need for reading is up ergo I have permission to quit books. Gasp. This used to not be granted to me by me. Oddly, at the same time my interest in rereading books increased. Tried and true, I guess?

King draws you in with the bits of his growing up, being a younger brother, writing at his desk in High School. This time around his whole near-death experience went by in only a few pages. Poof. In my memory of the last time I read it… and when was that… the description of his pain and recovery dominates. It’s conversational. It’s funny. And it’s educational. I learned practical advice that I don’t get by writing here in my room, alone. Like, how to delete as many adverbs as possible. But also advice you can apply to any pursuit – life, really – of starting small and being smart and working hard.

He also seems wildly in love with his wife, which I just adore.

Note that I’ve never read a single Stephen King novel, but I like this book. It makes me want to read his novels, but I do feel a class issue there for me as a reader – that his novels are somehow unworthy of my reading time – which you’d think is an opinion this memoir would alter, being so well written, but no…not yet anyways.

Maybe I just need to start with the right one…  Any suggestions?


p.s. After I published this, the space on the side of the “published” bar had a Stephen King quote – I kid you not! Funny universe, really funny.

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  • Reply Puneet October 18, 2012 at 9:01 pm

    I’ve been meaning to read that one! I used to read a lot of his novels growing up and from what I remember, Bag of Bones was the one that really stuck. Maybe start with that?

    • Reply justine October 19, 2012 at 4:10 pm

      Thanks for the suggestion!! I think that’s the one he says in On Writing “sticks” for his long-time readers 🙂

  • Reply travellingbag October 18, 2012 at 9:28 pm

    Too true – very funny universe!

  • Reply Kaye Munroe October 18, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    If I could only recommend one book by Stephen King, it would be ‘The Stand’. Yes, I know it’s long…but it’s one of the few books where the unedited version is better than the edited original.

    • Reply justine October 19, 2012 at 4:11 pm

      Good to know & thanks. I don’t shy away from long books 🙂

  • Reply ameliaclaire92 October 21, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    Such an amazing read! 🙂

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