I´ve never read a single word from Stephen King (aside from the book that is featured in this post). I have no idea if his best-seller status comes from real talent or a common combination of marketing, luck and popular plots that are easily digestible by the majority. The criteria that shapes books best-selling lists is not always clear (or fair) to me. I simply can´t understand certain sales´phenomenon and I probably shouldn´t.
All I know is I love this book – no special reason and all the reasons in the world.
It´s about the craft of a writer but, mostly, about a total absent of bullshit, a straight to the point frankness that really does the trick (if there was one). It´s quite impossible not to like Stephen King after reading “On Writing”. Great books can do that: making you like the person who wrote them for the courage and value they reveal. Another man with whom I would love to sit and talk by the porch.
Reminds me that the best lessons are often given through LIFE experience, simplicity and raw honesty.
His bones are exposed in this book (he even shares an UNEDITED – the terror! – version of a story he wrote – quite a generous offer; I guess most writers would throw themselves in a river before they allowed the public to see their work before the polishing of a good editing. He doesn´t seem to care – the fact that we see him naked (on a literary sense, of course, but more than that).
Recommended: for the blunt honesty; for the non pseudo-intelectual ride so many authors tend to pull; for the generosity (immense…); for the the RAW humanity and, most of all, for the GET UP and DO IT feeling we get from the book. Too many theories, too many fears, too many questions and little action: not a good combo for success.
Knowledge is essential but the guts to do it – and, perhaps, fail or, even scarier, succeed – is what makes the difference.
That´s the spirit!