While I was writing my novel, Stephen King's On Writing was a tremendous resource. He manages to get you excited about writing while at the same time reminding you why he is much more talented than you'll ever be. I keep his advice in my mind while I write, but, much like my tennis career, the actual execution of these instructions requires more talent and practice than I am capable of.
Still, I was highly encouraged by this piece in the book:
"Write what you like, then imbue it with life and it unique by blending in your own personal knowledge of life, friendship, relationships, sex, and work. Especially work. People love to read about work. God knows why, but they do. If you're a plumber who enjoys science fiction, you might well consider a novel about a plumber aboard a starship or an alien planet. Sound ludicrous? The late Clifford D. Simal wrote a novel called Cosmic Engineers which is just close to that. And it's a terrific read."
You can't imagine how encouraging it was to read that paragraph. I, an interior designer who enjoys Jane Austen, was writing a book combining interior design and Jane Austen! I was writing about work! And now Stephen King had told me it was a good idea!
I haven't read a lot of Stephen King primarily because I'm what's known as a "scaredy cat." I do love The Green Mile though, and watched it this week as it's been on TV. At the top of my scaredy cat list are mice. I cannot deal with them. My roommate and I broke our lease on our apartment and moved when we had a repeating mouse problem. My boyfriend at the time suggested watching The Green Mile and picturing the mice as Mr. Jingles to deal with my escalating phobia. I pointed out that Mr. Jingles is clearly single, and my concern with other mice is that they have a similar family planning philosophy to the Duggars. Anyway, it was ironic that after watching The Green Mile on Tuesday night, I found mouse droppings on my desk at work Wednesday morning. So now I need a new job.
Stephen King's cardinal rule of writing is that writers must read a lot. I just got back from a Barnes and Noble trip with Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl. I hope I'm not too much of a scaredy cat for it.
*Stephen King has not endorsed either my novel or this blog post.