It is targeted towards writers and wanna-be writers, but is a very inspiring book for anyone. Even those who are not fans of Stephen King.
This book can teach you many valuable lessons and can inspire and motivate you to become a better writer and a better blogger. Offline and online.
Read on for the 13 lessons I have picked up from reading On Writing.
Lessons learned from Stephen King’s On Writing
- Just start it. Whatever you plan or wish to do, just start doing it. Take the first step. Start chasing your dream. When you’re brave enough to start, you will be able to succeed and you will make it happen. You will not get anywhere if you just keep thinking about it or planning to start. Right now is the best time to start your project. “The scariest moment is always just before you start.”
- Follow your passion. No matter what people say, always do what you like to do. Stephen King’s family, teachers etc all said that he was wasting his time writing, but he didn’t listen and kept going on as he believed in it himself. He listened to his own passion. It turned out very well for him. It will turn out very well for you too. Listen to your passion and follow it.
- Do it for joy. If there is no joy in it, it’s just no good. Writing is not about making money, it’s not about getting famous, and it’s not about making friends. Writing posts should be inspired play and it should not feel like work. When you do it for joy, you can do it forever, no matter what. You need to have fun and enjoy what you’re doing. If you’re not having fun, it might be worth looking for something else to spend your time on.
- Stick to it. Never give up on your dream. No matter how hard it seems. No matter how impossible it looks. Read a lot. Write a lot. Good writing is the result of thousands of hours that the writer has spent composing and the tens of thousands of hours spent reading compositions of others.
- Don’t be afraid of rejection. Is nobody reading your posts yet? If you really enjoy it, it shouldn’t matter to you. Just keep working on producing new material and work on winning readers one by one. Keep learning and improving. Every new post that you publish should build on the experience and learnings you acquired from your previous posts. Every new post should be better than your previous posts.
- Find your own writing space. When writing, get rid of the whole world. Find your own writing space, close the door and concentrate. Eliminate all the distractions. Turn off the TV. Block emails. Get rid of your Facebook and Twitter newsfeeds. Removing all time-wasters will improve the quality of your life, save you a lot of time which you can spend on working on your passion.
- Make it unique. Blend in your own personal knowledge in your writing. You are unique and what you know makes you unique. You have your own thoughts, interests and concerns. Be brave and tell people what you think and what you know. Always integrate your personality into the work that you are doing.
- Make your writing reader-friendly. Just by looking at the text you can see if it is going to be easy or hard to read it. Easy stuff contains lots of short paragraphs and a lot of white space. People are lazy and they have too many options these days. You need to make it easy for them to consume and get stuck into your articles. These are some of the essentials of writing great posts.
- Edit yourself. Write a first draft, get away from it for a bit and do something else. Then come back and read it over. Fix the spelling mistakes, and pick up inconsistencies. You need to revise for length. Omit needless words. Cut the bullshit, cut the fluff from your writing. 1st draft – 10% = 2nd draft.
- You cannot please everyone. Don’t worry about the negative feedback. It is a natural part of being a writer. You can’t please all the readers all the time, you can’t even please some of the readers all the time, but you should always try to please some of the readers some of the time.
- Teach yourself. Forget the classes, the lessons, the seminars… you learn your trade best by putting the effort into it and doing it. You don’t need to pay someone else to teach you. That is the easy way out and in most cases doesn’t get you far. The most valuable lessons of all are the ones you teach yourself. Internet is an amazing resource as it allows you to dig deeper and learn about anything that interests you.
- Write a lot. Don’t talk about writing, but write. Just do it. Commit to writing a certain amount of words every day. And keep to it. Your time is valuable and you need to understand that the hours you spend talking about writing is time you don’t spend actually doing it. And actually writing and publishing your work helps you improve and gets you name out to more people. “Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.”
- Read a lot. If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have time or tools to write either. Everything you read has its own lessons. Reading good stuff helps you aim higher and work harder. You see what can be done, and experience different styles. Reading bad stuff helps you recognize bad things and helps you steer clear of them in your own work. Reading gets you inspired and helps you get new ideas for your own work.
Learning from the best in the field is a good thing. And Stephen King certainly is one of the best in writing. Take these lessons, learn from them and implement them in your own writing and in your own blogging. Your audience will like your content more and you will reach even more people with your writing. Good luck!