The Best Way to Become a Writer According to Stephen King

In case you live in a pop-culture vacuum, Stephen King is one of the best selling authors of our decade. To quote the first paragraph of his Wikipedia article:

Stephen Edwin King (born September 21, 1947) is an American author of contemporary horror, suspense, science fiction and fantasy. His books have sold more than 350 million copies and have been adapted into a number of feature films, television movies and comic books. King has published 50 novels, including seven under the pen-name of Richard Bachman, and five non-fiction books. He has written nearly two hundred short stories, most of which have been collected in nine collections of short fiction.

In other words, dude knows how to write and writes a lot. What’s more important than his volume of works is the success of his works. As an author, his work has transcended the novel and short story and has penetrated the movie screen. As of today, Stephen King has over 150 writing credits on films centered around his written work.
While authors like R.L. Stein, L. Ron Hubbard and Nora Roberts have created more books in volume than Stephen King, none can claim the influence over pop culture, the media, or the sheer commercial success that Stephen King has wielded over the past decades, both in published works and in film.

“Well damn Amanda,” you must be saying to yourself right now, “what is this advice from this man who can create magic with every project he touches? What writing tips does this guru have for me?”

The simple answer is read lots and write lots. Reading improves writing. Read everything. Write all your thoughts down. Read and write all the time and never stop. Here’s Stephen King pretty much saying the same thing:

So there you have it. Read, write, and develop a style all your own. You can’t have style if you can’t recognize other writer’s styles nor can you learn which of your works are awesome and which works suck without having something to compare it to. It’s all true and sound advice. So get out there, write, read, start a blog or something crazy like that. My personal advice – read a mix of classics and contemporary works. You’ll see a lot of links.

– Amanda Riggle


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